10 Tips to Keep Your AC Running Cold as Ice This Summer

As the temperatures rise this summer, you can take action to keep your whole home air conditioner running smooth and delivering ice-cold air with a few easy maintenance tips from Climatrol. Regular cleaning and maintenance not only help your unit perform at its maximum capacity, but can also improve its efficiency, save energy, and help extend its lifespan so you can avoid the expense of premature replacement.

Before You Begin: Shut Off the Power

Before performing any cleaning or maintenance tasks, be sure to completely disconnect all power to the unit at the AC shut-off box, as well as at the breaker box that supplies power to your air conditioner. NEVER use a power washer to clean your air conditioner because it can damage sensitive parts. Components listed may be located outside or inside your home depending on your specific installation.

1. Clean and Realign Fins – Look at the fins on the exterior of your air conditioner. If any have been crushed or bent, use a fin comb or thin piece of metal to gently separate and realign the fins. Take care to avoid damaging the tubing that runs through the fins. If soil and debris has accumulated on the fins, carefully brush the material off, vacuum, and/or spray clean from the inside with a garden hose to restore optimal performance.

2. Clean Coils – If leaves or other debris have accumulated on the exterior coils, use a brush to gently dislodge the material then spray off with a garden hose.

3. Remove Interior Debris – Take the fan grill/cage off the top of the unit and carefully remove or vacuum any leaves and debris that have accumulated inside.

4. Clean Evaporator Coil – Inside your unit, the evaporator coil is typically located behind a small door covered with foil tape. Gently remove to access the coil. Carefully brush any debris away and spray with commercial no-rinse coil cleaner.

5. Clean Drain Pan – Scrub any soil and algae from the drain pan with a mixture of warm water, dish soap, and standard bleach. Spray clean and pour 2 cups of half bleach/half water into the drain to help prevent future algae accumulation. Rinse well.

6. Clean Drain Line – If the bleach/water mixture did not drain out or drained very slowly, the drain line may be clogged. Locate the end of the line (usually near the condenser unit outdoors or routed into a basement floor drain) and use a wet/dry vacuum to form a good seal around the drain pipe with tape. Vacuum out any accumulated algae and debris.

7. Clean Exterior – Take note of the area around your air conditioner. Clear away any accumulated leaves/debris and trim brush away (at least 2’ from all sides) to ensure proper airflow.

8. Change Air/Blower Filter – Your air filter should be replaced once per month or as directed by your equipment manufacturer for maximum efficiency and performance. Be sure the replacement filter has the exact airflow rating indicated by the equipment manufacturer.

9. Check Levelness – Use a standard level to check the unit for level. This is important because an uneven unit can cause the condenser to prematurely fail. If out-of-level, use plastic or rot-resistant shims to restore the AC to level. If the concrete pad beneath your air conditioner is accumulating water beneath the unit, is unlevel, or has sunk to the point that your connections are being pulled too tight, the pad may need to be re-poured to keep your system dry and level.

10. Programmable Thermostat – If you haven’t installed a programmable thermostat yet, consider this simple step to make the most of your air conditioning investment without sacrificing performance or constantly readjusting your thermostat.

How Often Do I Need Professional AC Maintenance?

The tips above can help keep your system running at optimal levels between maintenance appointments from your HVAC professional. Remember: it is important to have your equipment professionally inspected and maintained at least annually or as recommended by your equipment manufacturer. Your Climatrol technician has the tools and training to check and adjust refrigerant levels, voltage, calibration, examine the system for leaks and promptly correct them (which can lead to costly system failure if left unaddressed), clean ductwork, check for proper airflow, add in-line duct boosters to correct poor airflow, ensure your AC is the proper size after any renovation work, and perform many additional maintenance checks to help you get the most out of your whole home air conditioner investment.

Save Big With the Comfort Club!

Climatrol customers in Clarksburg, Bridgeport, and throughout North-Central West Virginia can save on year-round maintenance by joining our Comfort Club. This program helps to keep your home’s heating and cooling system clean and operating at maximum efficiency throughout every season, along with priority service and valuable discounts.

Contact Climatrol for Total Comfort All Year Long

If your whole home AC unit is not performing like it used to even after a thorough cleaning, contact the Comfort Crew right away. Climatrol keeps homes and businesses cool in the summer and warm in the winter with comprehensive, quality HVAC services and our gold standard workmanship warranty. As the region’s trusted heating and cooling specialist, Climatrol services all makes and models of residential and commercial HVAC systems, including installation, maintenance, and repair work you can rely on all year long.

Since 1969, Climatrol has been North-Central West Virginia’s leader in home comfort. We were here yesterday, we are here today, and we will be here for you tomorrow. Contact Climatrol for all your residential and commercial heating, cooling, and air quality needs: (304) 623-0606.