HVAC technician repairing an air conditioner

4 Easy DIY Tips for Air Conditioner Maintenance

You’ve likely already turned your air conditioner on at least once this season, but that doesn’t mean you should skip an inspection and cleaning. Air conditioner maintenance is proven to maximize efficiency, lower energy bills, and extend system lifespans. Keep reading to learn four ways you can DIY air conditioner maintenance this summer—but remember that nothing compares to a professional Clean & Check to keep you cool and comfortable all season.

Clean Your Air Conditioner and the Area Around It

Ahh—there’s nothing like a comfortably cool home on a hot summer day. But if your air conditioner is dirty and surrounded by overgrown greenery, you might not be so lucky. Turn your air conditioner’s power off and rinse it clean with a gentle stream of water. This will wash away any dirt and dust it’s collected to improve efficiency.
In addition to being clean, the condensing unit—the outdoor A/C—needs room to breathe. Make sure there are at least three feet of clearance surrounding it. Cut back bushes, shrubs, and plants that are invading its space—and keep an eye on plant growth as summer wears on.

Replace Your Air Filter

If you haven’t replaced your air filter recently, change it out now before your system is in high demand. A clean air filter keeps air moving freely and prevents your system from getting bogged down with debris and overworking. Not only do dirty air filters make your system work harder, but they can also:

  • Cause your energy bills to rise
  • Lead to poor indoor air quality
  • Increase your risk of breakdowns
  • Heighten likelihood of mold growth

Our pros are more than happy to help if you aren’t sure which filter you need or how to replace it—just give us a call.

Check and Straighten the Fins

Air conditioner fins are the dark-colored exterior of your system that resemble a grill. They enable heat to escape from inside your unit, so as they bend, they trap more heat in, causing your A/C to work harder. Turn off power to your system and use either a fin tool or a butter knife to carefully straighten any bends. Fin tools will also remove grime buildup as you go.

Test Your Thermostat and Open Air Vents

Another simple but necessary task is testing your system. Switch your thermostat setting to COOL and bump the temperature down to a brisk 68°F. Your system should start running at full speed ahead and drop your indoor temp pretty quickly. If it doesn’t, you likely need a repair or a thorough cleaning to get it going.

While your system is running, walk around your home and make sure all the air registers and vents are open and clear of any blockages. Every vent should be open to maximize your A/C’s efficiency and keep your home comfortable.

Don’t Skip Your Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance Appointment

Yes, you can certainly complete these DIY tasks, but nothing beats professional maintenance. Our seasoned pros have more than 20 years of experience servicing Bryant® and other brand air conditioners. Call 715-325-3969 for Wisconsin Rapids or 715-342-0911 for Stevens Point, or schedule an appointment online before the summer heat really sets in.

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