AC Maintenance Tips

Tried and True Methods for Getting the Most Out of Your Air Conditioning System

There are still several weeks of summer heat left for San Antonio. Whether you have recently installed a new air conditioning unit, are planning to, or have kept the same cooling system since 2010, there are several useful and effective tips that will extend the life of your unit. These guidelines are simple, fast, and budget-friendly. 

AC repair worker using a tablet to complete an air conditioner maintenance check-up.

#1 Clean Around Your Unit Frequently

It is common for outdoor units to acquire leaves, dirt, spider webs, and debris over time. The vents, which filter hot and cool air, are particularly susceptible to debris accumulation. Cleaning these vents yearly will help your unit run more efficiently with less effort. The process should only take a matter of minutes, and best of all will reduce your energy bill each month.  

#2 Avoid Running Your Unit 24 Hours a Day

While it may be tempting to turn your air conditioner on and then move to the next topic for the next several months, this can shorten the lifespan of your unit unnecessarily. Turning your air conditioner off during times the house is unoccupied, at nighttime, and during the early morning is a wise way to extend its usability. In addition, you will spend less on cooling every month. 

#3 Change the Air Filter

One of the most commonly forgotten steps of AC unit maintenance is changing the air filter every 30-60 days. While changing the air filters may not seem like a profound way to impact performance, it is one of the most effectual. A clogged air filter will not be able to operate efficiently or quickly. The effects are clear in the results. Changing the air filter will provide you with a smooth and long-lasting unit. 

#4 Keep an Annual Check-Up Schedule

Annual air conditioning check-ups are the gold standard for quality performance and longevity. While repairing a damaged compressor or replacing a worn-down unit can cost upwards of $1200, a yearly check-up can prevent numerous damages at a fraction of the cost. 

#5 Invest in a Programmable-Thermostat

Air conditioning can account for as much as 70% of your energy bill, especially during the summer months. Reducing overall usage can be a hassle, especially if you are running a busy schedule and don’t have time to adjust the temperature in your home 2-3 times per day. Programmable thermostats are extremely effective at creating your ideal home temperature seasonally, with minimum time requirements. In addition, they maintain constant temperatures, so whether it is 105 degrees outside or in the mid-80s, your programmable thermostat will sustain the ideal temperature you prefer for your home. As an added bonus, newer units offer Wi-Fi-access, allowing you to program your unit from your laptop or mobile device. 

#6 Take Care of Your Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are central to cooling your home. One of their primary purposes is to remove moisture from incoming air, decreasing the humidity entering your living space. The moisture around the coils makes them susceptible to a collection of dirt, pollen, and grime. Cleaning them is a simple and impactful way to protect your unit’s performance. These coils may also become clogged over time due to mold and mildew accumulation. Cleaning your unit’s condensate drain line a few times a year can save you money and time in the long run. A good indication your line needs to be cleaned is standing water inside the line. Suction, as well as hot water, are effective methods of removing clogs in the line. 

#7 Check the Air Duct and Panels

If your unit has not been used in several weeks, it is wise to check around the air duct and panels for any dust, debris, or obstructions. Keeping this area clean will produce the maximum efficiency in your unit’s cool air output.

#8 Installation Considerations

The most effective strategy you can use when purchasing a new air conditioning unit is to find a professional HVAC specialist to install it. This will be one of the most cost-beneficial decisions you make during this entire process. Knowledgeability, skill, and experience are key factors in installing a unit correctly. This will help you avoid air duct and door leaks, ensure the sizing and efficiency ratio is ideal for your home, protect your home from dangerous fume leakages or fires, help implement proper thermostat compatibility settings, and guarantee proper ventilation throughout your home. 

Combining these methods towards the care of your unit will save you headaches, breakdowns, and unexpected costs throughout the year. These simple steps will further allow you and your family to enjoy your home in a budget-friendly and energy-efficient way, giving you time to focus on the things that matter most without breaking a sweat.


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