Spring AC Tune-up You Can Do Yourself
Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to get your HVAC system ready for summer. While you shouldn’t perform HVAC repairs on your own, there are a number of small maintenance items you can do yourself. Below we’ll go through a few of these things and a few that you’ll want to hire a professional to handle.
HVAC Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
1. Change your furnace filter
Depending on the type of filter you have, you’ll need to replace or clean it every one to three months. Especially at the end of winter after it’s seen heavy use, you’ll want to make sure you have a clean, new filter in place. A clean filter has a number of benefits, from improving health by controlling air quality to reducing the energy usage of your HVAC system.
2. Clear drainage hole
There is usually a drainage hole at the base of your air conditioner cabinet under the evaporator fins. If the hole isn’t clear, it can impact the effectiveness of your air conditioner. Spring is a perfect time to clear out the drainage hole and rid it of winter gunk.
3. Dry out dehumidifier
Spring is a notoriously wet time of year, with winter snow melting and spring showers raining down. While the moisture can be wonderful for your garden, it’s not great inside the house. If your HVAC system has a dehumidifier, this is a great time to ensure it’s in top working condition by removing the outer casing and allowing the system to dry out. Once dry, clean excess dirt that has built up before reattaching the casing.
4. Clear obstructions from the exterior system
Air conditioning systems are built to withstand the elements, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them entirely. Plants growing close to the unit can block air intake, making your AC less effective. Clear the area within two feet of the outside unit and check regularly throughout the spring and summer to be sure the area remains clear.
Although you can do these things on your own, many elements of your HVAC system should always be inspected and repaired by a trained technician. In fact, you should have a technician examine your system at least once every year. The following things are good spring tune-up measures that you’ll want a technician to handle.
HVAC Maintenance A Technician Can Do
1. Clean condenser coils
Cleaning and replacing your air filter regularly will go a long way toward keeping the condenser coils on your HVAC system clean, but some dirt will still build up over time. If that happens, it can prevent the condenser from absorbing heat and cause the coil to fail.
2. Clean and tighten electrical connections
During an AC tune-up, a technician will ensure that the connections inside the electrical compartment are clean and free of debris. If the connections aren’t cleaned, debris and dirt could cause the AC to stop working right when you need it most.
3. Check refrigerant levels
During a scheduled tune-up, the technician will also check the refrigerant levels on your AC system, ensuring a cool, comfortable summer inside your home.
4. Check condensation lines
Technicians will ensure condensation lines are clear and free of plugs that could cause water damage if left alone.
5. Calibrate thermostat
The best maintained HVAC system won’t work at all if the thermostat which controls it isn’t working. During a tune-up, a technician will calibrate the thermostat with the system to ensure your AC unit is working just as you want it.
Tuning up your AC in the spring will ensure you have a cool, comfortable summer. And although you should always call a technician for any serious issues with your HVAC system, hopefully now you can feel confident handling some of the simpler maintenance maintenance items on your own.