Last summer, Denver hit a roasting 101°F. If it gets that high or higher again this summer, there’ll only be one thing on your mind. Getting inside and enjoying the gentle cool of your air conditioning.
But without summer AC maintenance, that might be a pipe dream! You don’t want to be calling out an AC repair company because it’s failed in the heat of summer. So what are the essential summer AC maintenance jobs that should be on everybody’s list?
Here are our top 7 tips to help you avoid common AC issues.
1. Check and Change the Air Filters
Checking and changing the air filters should be part of your regular AC maintenance throughout the summer. Normally, the filters on a residential AC system need to be swapped out every 90 days. Some types need to be replaced, whereas others you can wash and put back.
If you’ve got pets, you may want to change them every 60 days. The reason is that the air filters remove all the allergens and dust particles that are floating around in your air. If they are not regularly changed, they become clogged and can’t do their job.
Worse than that, it puts more pressure on the rest of the system. Your AC unit will have to work overtime, and that can cause it to wear out more quickly. So the moral of the story is to keep on top of changing your air filters.
2. Clean the Condensor Coils
Your outdoor AC unit will need to be thoroughly cleaned before you fire it up for the summer. If you already have, it’s still a good idea to shut off the power and give it some TLC.
Ideally, you should have covered your condenser unit throughout the winter. This helps to protect it from yard debris that otherwise accumulates inside it. Unfortunately, if you don’t protect your outdoor AC unit, pests can also take up residence.
Snakes, rats, and mice have all been known to start calling it home. So be careful, wear gloves and a mask. And if you think you’ve got a pest issue, call in the professionals to handle it.
If your outdoor AC unit is just full of leaves, twigs, and dirt, then you can simply clear it all away. Then you’ll need to buy some coil cleaner, a type of detergent designed for the purpose. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wash away the accumulated dirt.
3. Check Coolant Lines
The coolant lines on your AC system run from the evaporator coils on the indoor air handler to the outdoor AC unit. The smaller line has liquid running through it, and the larger line, which is typically insulated, carries cool gas. It’s good to check that these two lines are intact.
Check the insulation and make sure that it’s not frayed and that no animal has nibbled at it over the winter. If you’re finding that your AC is not cooling properly, this could be the issue. If you’re spending way more than usual on electricity or you can hear hissing noises, check these lines thoroughly to see if there’s a leak.
If you find something wrong, it’s time to call in professionals who are experienced in repairing AC units.
4. Clean Air Duct Covers
Return air duct covers can easily get clogged with dust and dirt. This puts extra pressure on your system, which is working hard to pull the air through.
Fortunately, they’re super simple to clean. Just vacuum them with the wand attachment on your regular home vacuum cleaner whenever you vacuum the floor. That will keep clogs at bay and keep the air flowing freely.
5. Check Your Ductwork
Over time, ductwork can tear, become clogged with dirt and dust, and leak treated air. This wastes money as you’re not getting the air where you need it the most.
Start by inspecting the ductwork. Are there any noticeable tears or gaps that you can see? It may be possible to temporarily repair them using duct tape, but that’s not a permanent solution.
Around every 3 to 5 years, you’ll need to have them cleaned. But if you know that you’ve had issues with pests in the past that may have got into your ductwork, get them done right away. You don’t want any harmful particles moving around your house and being breathed in by your family.
6. Check the Drain Line
The drainage line takes moisture away from your AC unit. Over time, it can get clogged with dust and other debris, but it’s easy to clean. Grab a powerful vacuum cleaner, like a shop vacuum, and use the wand attachment to suck out anything clogging the line.
7. Plan Ahead for Next Summer
Summer isn’t really the ideal time for regular AC maintenance. The best time is in the spring before the weather heats up and after the system has been sitting unused during the winter.
So if you got away with it this year, don’t take a chance next year. Schedule a tune-up in the fall to prepare your HVAC system to pump out some good heat this winter. And either schedule a put a reminder in your diary to schedule a spring AC tune-up in 2023.
Call Doctor Fix It Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric for Summer AC Maintenance
Summer AC maintenance is crucial to keep your system working correctly when you need it the most. Don’t worry if you’ve left things a little late this year. It’s better late than never, and an AC tune-up can help you to avoid many common AC issues.
If you’d like a little help with your summer AC maintenance, schedule a visit from Doctor Fix It Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric. Our expert air conditioning team can maintain, repair, and replace all types of air conditioning systems.