DIY AC Maintenance Guide: How to Keep Your AC Unit Running Smoothly

DIY AC Maintenance

Installing a new air conditioner in your home can cost you anywhere from a few thousand dollars to almost $10,000. It’s why you should make sure you maintain your current AC system. You want it to last for as long as possible.

You should get into the habit of calling on an HVAC professional to help you maintain your AC unit about once every year. But you should also learn about the different DIY AC maintenance steps that you can take to keep your air conditioner in good working order.

So, what are some of the things that you can do to maintain your home’s cooling system throughout the year? Check out a few of them below and make sure you’re doing them on a regular basis.

Replace Your AC’s Air Filter At Least Every 3 Months

Of all the DIY AC maintenance tips that we’re going to share today, this one is probably the most important. It’s also the one that’s going to be the easiest one for you to take care of on your own.

Your AC system has an air filter that is used to—you guessed it!—filter the air that passes through it. It’s designed to remove dust, allergens, and other contaminants from the air so that it doesn’t get distributed throughout your home when your AC is turned on.

This air filter needs to be replaced at least every 3 months, if not more often. It’s going to keep the air in your home clean and prevent dirty air from taking a toll on your AC system.

If you use the same filter for too long, you’re eventually going to start to experience issues with your AC system. It’s why you should make it a point to change your filter yourself early and often.

Remove Debris From Around the Outside of Your AC Condenser

A portion of your home’s AC system is exposed to the elements outside at all times. This portion of your AC system is called your AC condenser, and it’s the part that is usually positioned either in the back of your home or on the side of it.

Over the course of time, it’s not uncommon for leaves, sticks, dirt, and other debris to build up around the outside of your AC condenser. You should make it your mission to remove this debris from the exterior of your AC condenser if you ever spot it.

By cleaning up debris that sits around the outside of your AC condenser, you’ll stop it from getting inside of it. If and when that happens, it can affect the efficiency of your condenser and stop it from working in the way that it should.

Inspect Your AC Condenser and Clean the Fins in It

In addition to cleaning around the outside of your AC condenser, you should also inspect the condenser itself. Specifically, you should pay close attention to the fins that are located in your condenser.

Every so often, you’re going to want to take a hose and clean these fins out. You’re also going to want to straighten the fins out if you ever notice them bending on you.

Your AC condenser is responsible for taking heat from inside your home and distributing it out into the atmosphere outside. It’s not going to be able to do this effectively if it’s dirty and if the fins in it are bent up.

Keep Your Evaporator Coil Clean

Outside of caring for the AC condenser outside of your home, there are also a few DIY AC maintenance steps that you’ll want to take inside your home. One of them involves cleaning your evaporator coil.

You should be able to find a door for your AC’s evaporator coil inside of your house. Open it up once you find it and use a soft brush to dust it off. Then, take a special coil cleaner and use it to clean your evaporator coil.

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Dirt from the coil should drip down into a drain pan located beneath your evaporator coil. You’ll want to clean that drain pain out with soap and water once you’re all finished cleaning your evaporator coil.

Make Sure the Evaporator Drain Doesn’t Get Clogged Up

When your AC system is working properly, your evaporator coil is going to pull humidity out of the air in your home and turn it into liquid before sending it down into an evaporator drain. This drain will then carry the water away into a basement floor drain or a utility sink.

It can, however, get clogged up from time to time since algae and mold can build up in it. You’ll need to invest in a wet/dry vacuum to unclog it. You can use this type of vacuum to remove anything that might be blocking up your evaporator drain so that it’s able to do its job.

Listen for Any Strange Sounds Coming From Your AC

Have you heard strange sounds coming from your AC system in recent days? You shouldn’t ignore them under any circumstances.

If you do, you might wake up one day to find your air conditioning not working. And at that point, no amount of DIY AC maintenance is going to get it back up and running again.

You should reach out to an HVAC company at the first sign of trouble with your AC system. It’ll help you diagnose the issue and get it fixed sooner rather than later.

Put DIY AC Maintenance at the Top of Your To-Do List

Your home’s air conditioner has a very important job. It’s in charge of keeping your home cool when the temperature skyrockets in the spring and summer.

To keep it firing on all cylinders, you should do all of the necessary DIY AC maintenance that we’ve talked about here. It’ll ensure that your AC system continues to work well into the future.

Want to get more great tips on taking good care of your air conditioner? Browse through the other articles on our blog to find them.

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