Enough talk about “the little things in life.” At Surgi’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we think it’s time to talk about that big thing that’s keeping your house comfortable: your air conditioner. Our business knows how important it is to maintain your AC system if you want it to last, and as a homeowner, you may be wondering if you can do some of that maintenance on your own.
We know what you might be thinking: Why is a company that services air conditioners telling me how to fix my own AC? Well, at Surgi’s, we’re always looking for ways to make maintenance more accessible and affordable for our customers. While a professional tune-up is always the best option when it comes to AC maintenance, there are a few routine practices you can perform on your own.
Maintaining Your Outdoor AC Unit
It’s a good idea to perform a seasonal AC tune-up at least once every year. If you decide to turn off your AC system for a few months, performing a tune-up before turning it back on will help resolve problems and clean out any debris.
Before attempting any maintenance, shut off the AC system. This is essential to prevent injury or damage to the various parts. Once this is completed, you can begin servicing your air conditioner.
Clean Out Debris
Leaves, dirt and grime from the great outdoors can easily enter your outdoor AC unit and cause clogs and jams. If you ever turn off your air conditioning system, place a piece of plywood or a sheet of plastic over the top of your unit to prevent a large build-up of crud. However, if your unit hasn’t been covered, it’s a good idea to open it up and clean it out.
Start by removing the fan cage from the top of the unit using a screwdriver or wrench. Peek into the interior and use a vacuum or your hands to remove any leaves and dirt.
Adjust The Fins
A series of fins (that look like a grill) surround most of the exterior of outdoor units. These fins can become easily warped and dirty. Using a fin tool or a butter knife, you can gently bend any warped fins back into place. To clean your system’s fins, you can use a hose (not a pressure washer) to spray the unit and wash off any dirt. You can also use a fin comb to clean the component.
Maintaining Your Indoor Unit
Once you’ve finished assessing the outdoor unit, it’s important to remember to provide maintenance for your indoor unit as well. Here are some of the different ways you can care for your system.
Clean The Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is one of the most important parts of your AC system. Without a functioning coil, your AC won’t successfully cool down your home. To clean this vital part, locate the evaporator coil door, which is attached to the indoor unit.
Using a soft brush, dust off the coil to prevent dust build-up. Then, using a no-rinse evaporator coil cleaner, spray the coil. The spray will cause liquid to drip onto the drain pan underneath it, so make sure to clean the pan with hot water and soap.
Pour a mixture of half bleach and half water down the drain to clear any clogs or unwanted algae growth. If you’re concerned about growth, you can place a pan tablet into the drain pan. You can find these at hardware stores.
Change The Filter
One of the best practices in DIY AC maintenance is changing the air filter. This keeps your home’s air pure and can even increase the system’s efficiency. The air filter is usually located next to the large return duct on the indoor AC unit.
Use a screwdriver to unlatch the enclosure and pull out the old, dirty air filter. This old filter will be labeled with an air filter rating. Make sure you replace the air filter with a filter of the same rating.
When you install the new filter, remember to match the air-flow direction arrows on the filter with the arrows on the unit. When you’re done, close the door and re-latch it shut. You can turn the power back on once these steps are completed.
Schedule Professional AC Services With Surgi’s
Although DIY AC maintenance can be a great help for your system, it’s no substitute for professional services! That’s why you can count on Surgi’s to provide AC repairs or a seasonal AC tune-up when you need them.
Surgi’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing proudly performs New Orleans AC maintenance. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of DIY maintenance or your unit needs some repairs, contact us today for help!