Be Kind to Your A/C — DIY A/C Maintenance Tips

Your A/C takes care of you — when’s the last time you took care of it? With temperatures hitting record highs all around the country, it’s a great time to give some thought to the hard-working systems that help us survive the summer. If you don’t maintain your unit, it doesn’t really matter how high its SEER (seasonal energy efficient rating) is — you’ll  steadily lose cooling efficiency (up to 5 percent per year, according to experts).

There’s no replacement for professional maintenance — a yearly visit from your A/C repairman is one of the best investments you can make. But these DIY tips will go a long way to keeping your system running at peak efficiency.

Filters first
Changing filters on schedule is a simple, easy way get the most from your A/C system. Dirty filters not only restrict airflow; they can make your system’s evaporator ice up!

  • To make sure you’ve always got a filter on hand, buy several at a time and keep them near your air conditioner.
  • Set a reminder on your smartphone or calendar so you don’t miss a replacement date.
  • Don’t rinse fiberglass filters. Discard them and start with a new filter each time.
  • If you’re painting or remodeling, change your filters weekly! The dust and paint fumes can damage your A/C equipment.

Condenser care
Your condenser —the unit that sits outside your house — works hard to keep you cool. To help it do its job, rinse your condenser with a hose every month. Also, keep plants, dead leaves, lawn furniture and other obstructions at least two feet from your condenser.

Dave Walton here at Direct Energy — author of the helpful Dave’s Corner energy advice page —  has more practical tips  for you. Watch his Energy Efficiency Tips video to learn about furnace and air conditioner maintenance tips, annual maintenance, installing a programmable thermostat and more.  

Got a tip for keeping your A/C running smoothly? Please tell us about it in the comments below!