North Port AC: 9 Essential Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips for Spring

9 Essential Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips for Spring

Summer temperatures in Venice and the surrounding cities may soar into the 90s with humidity levels. That doesn’t deter residents and visitors alike from embracing our enviable Florida lifestyle. We love feeling the sunshine!

Even if you’ve only lived here through one hot summer, you know how vital it is to have a comfortable home where you can relax after spending time in the heat. Spring is an excellent time to ensure your air conditioner gives excellent performance when you need it most.

We’ve put together a checklist of nine air conditioner maintenance tips you can take care of this spring so that your AC rises to the occasion on those hot summer days and evenings. Take a few minutes today to explore ways you can help your cooling system keep up with the heat tomorrow.

1. Give Your System a Fresh Start

If you’re hoping to improve (or maintain) cooling system efficiency during the warmer summer months, a clean filter is vital. Changing an air filter is the most straightforward AC maintenance task you can do, and just about any homeowner can complete the project in less than 10 minutes.

While filter changes usually need to be taken care of more frequently than during the annual spring cleaning, if you’ve not started at least checking the filter every other month or so, it’s a great time to start the habit.

2. Clean Coils Make Your AC Happier

The AC evaporator and condenser coils each have a unique role in your cooling system. In a nutshell, evaporator coils contain chilled refrigerant used to remove heat from inside your home. Condenser coils move the heat outside, replacing it with cool air.

Over time, the coils collect dirt, which reduces airflow and interferes with the coil’s ability to absorb heat.

You’ll find the evaporator coils on the inside unit located near or in the compartment that holds the air handler and blower fan. Use a brush to remove loose debris and warm water mixed with a mild detergent for a more thorough cleaning. Condenser coils are part of the outside AC unit.

You can find special coil brushes and cleaners at most home improvement stores. An alternative to buying an expensive cleaning solution is to go with a homemade coil cleaner.

3. Remove Yard Debris from the Outside AC Unit

While we’re on the subject of cleaning, check out the area around the outside of your air conditioner. Part of spring AC maintenance should include removing leaves, grass clippings, and other yard debris.

If you don’t keep the area around your AC clear of debris, it can buildup and interfere with airflow.

Spring is also a good time to trim shrubs and garden plants back if they grow around the outside AC unit. You’ll help prevent reduced airflow coming to and from the system.

4. Are Your Coil Fins Bent?

The fins on your condenser coils are a little fragile. You can inadvertently bend them when you use a weedwhacker, pressure wash the unit (not recommended), or allow your kids or pets to play too close. Even the wind blowing debris against the unit can bend a fin or two.

Not to worry — you can gently bend them back in place with a fin comb.

In the future, minimize fin damage by building a fence around the outside AC unit. Make sure you allow a distance of 3-5 feet to allow the AC to breathe.

5. Take Time for a  Ductwork Inspection

Another quick spring air conditioner maintenance project involves getting up close and personal with your ductwork. The ductwork distributes conditioned air throughout the rooms in your house.

Do you know cooling systems can lose roughly 20 to 30 percent of conditioned air due to leaks in the ductwork? Poorly connected ductwork also contributes to air loss. The result is less AC efficiency and higher cooling bills.

Inspect and clean your cooling system’s ductwork during AC maintenance. You can quickly locate loose ducts and put them back in place.

Leaky ducts may need the attention of your HVAC team!

6. Keep the Condensate Drain Clean

Anyone who lives in Florida knows about humidity. What you might not be aware of is how your cooling system handles excess moisture.

Humidity creates condensation, which can cause chaos for your air conditioner if it backs up in the drain pan. The condensate drain line is where the backup usually starts. The drain line connects your AC to the outside, which is where condensation needs to go.

A combination of dirt, algae, and other types of debris can clog a condensate drain line. Pouring a bleach and water solution into the access point helps keep the drain line clean and clear.

7. Perform a Cooling Function Test

You can avoid surprises with your AC by testing how well the system cools. If you do it before the hot weather arrives, you can deal with any necessary adjustments or repairs without losing sleep because it’s too hot inside your home.

No tools are necessary for this AC spring maintenance project!

Start by setting your thermostat just a few degrees lower than your current indoor air temperature. Wait for the AC to kick on and begin working.

Do a walk-around inside your house and verify that you have cool air flowing from all the vents. Listen to the air conditioner and note clicking or other unusual noises.

If the system doesn’t seem to work the way it should, you’ll have time to schedule AC service before temperatures rise.

8. Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

Speaking of cooling function, have you considered upgrading to one of the new programmable thermostats? If you haven’t, spring is an excellent time to have one installed.

You’ll enjoy the way technology works to optimize AC efficiency. Smart thermostats can help you lower your heating and cooling bills. They can also extend the service life of your HVAC system.

Ask your heating and cooling technician how you can enjoy the benefits of an upgraded thermostat.

9. Schedule a Spring AC Tune-Up

Most car owners know the value of yearly tune-ups, but your air conditioner can benefit from an annual tune-up too. Tune-ups can save you a significant amount of money.

First, an AC tune-up can help you lower your cooling costs. You’ll experience improved efficiency. Second, during a scheduled tune-up, your AC technician can catch problems early enough to avoid costly repairs.

Spring cooling system tune-ups usually include:

  • Condenser Coil Cleaning
  • Thermostat Calibration
  • Refrigerant Level Check
  • Inspection and Tightening Electrical Component
  • Evaluating Blower Belt and Motor Operation

Schedule this maintenance project at the beginning of spring to avoid the summer rush when other homeowners discover they need urgent AC repairs.

We’ve covered most of the maintenance projects the average homeowner can do on their own.  You might not solve the world’s problems, but when you invest the time in a regular AC tune-up and maintenance, you can prevent issues with your cooling system.

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Looking for More Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips?

For more air conditioner maintenance tips, continue browsing the blog. If you’d like to schedule a tune-up or need another AC service, contact our team today to request an appointment. We’d love to say “hello” and welcome you to the family.

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