Spring Cleaning: Basic AC Unit Maintenance to Get Ready for Summer
There’s nothing more disheartening than reaching for that cool blast, only to find that your unit is shot and there’s no cool air coming out.
Summer in Phoenix is expected to be hotter than normal this year. Don’t start sweating early.
Today, we’re sharing a guide to basic AC unit maintenance you can perform today to preserve your sanity in a few months.
Ready to get started? Let’s get into it!
1. Replace Your Filters
Your AC unit is responsible for moving the air in and out of your house. Don’t make it work harder than it has to by letting grime and dust build up on your filters.
If this happens, the unit will work more slowly. Over time, it could even malfunction or completely freeze up.
Ensure you have adequate summer air conditioning by giving your filters a once-over. If it’s been more than three months since you’ve replaced them, go ahead and do so now.
Need another incentive to take care of this step? Dirty filters compromise the air quality in your home. Especially if someone you love suffers from allergies, these irritants can lead to myriad health issues.
This is a cost-effective first step in servicing your system. You may even consider buying your filters in bulk so you can never use “I ran out” as an excuse not to change them!
2. Tidy Up Your Landscaping
Is your AC unit located behind or near shrubbery or trees? Has your grass grown so tall it’s now at your shins?
If so, take the time to trim back your landscaping or hire a professional to take care of the cleanup for you. It’s easy to let this task fall by the wayside during the winter, but now’s the time to give it the attention it deserves.
Why? Not only could branches and leaves fall into the unit and interfere with its operations, but they also make it difficult for a service technician to access your machines.
If they’re too close to the condenser unit, they can also interfere with airflow, so before you start running the AC, grab those pruners and carefully cut the space back.
3. Clean the Outside Coils
All winter long, your outside unit has sat stagnant, collecting dust, debris, and mud. This is especially the case if you opted not to use a cover.
Over time, that gunk can clog up your unit. When this happens, your AC won’t run at top capacity.
If yours is only slightly dirty, you can clean it relatively easily. Disconnect the power supply, then use a garden hose to spray the unit down, waiting until it’s fully dry to reconnect. If it’s in need of a deep cleaning, invest in a spray bottle of commercial AC cleaner from your local hardware store.
4. Brush the Fins
In the same vein as cleaning the outside coils, you’ll also want to clear any grim from the fins on your outside unit.
You can use a small toothbrush or a car washing brush to perform this step. The act of gently rubbing the brush along the coils is often enough to shake any dirt loose. As you do this, make sure to be careful with the delicate metal.
While there are tools you can buy to help you reverse your mistake should you bend them, this is avoidable if you exercise caution.
5. Steady the Concrete Slab
Take a look at the concrete slab that your unit is sitting on. This is an oft-overlooked part of the process, but it’s one of our top air conditioning tips for summer.
If the slab is even a little off-kilter, your AC unit will have to work even harder to cool your home. If you need to add a little height to level it up, use a wooden board to hold it in place, then add gravel in small increments until you’re even. Then, take the board away and you’ll be on steady ground.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Looking to save some money on your utility bill this summer and do your part to save the environment while you’re at it? If so, consider investing in a smart thermostat.
This is a smart home device you can set to automatically reduce how much AC or heat your home uses. Going on a long vacation? Set it to conserve energy while you’re gone and crank back up a few hours before your arrival.
7. Hire a Professional HVAC Service
There are many minor repairs and upgrades you can perform yourself, but to really get your AC ready for the summer, it’s wise to hire an HVAC service technician to come take a look at your unit.
This expert can inspect the internal operations of your system and notify you of any issues. Taking care on the small points now can save you money, stress and time down the road.
Ace Your AC Unit Maintenance This Spring
Don’t let the summer sneak up on you. Make sure you’re ready with a clean, operable AC system designed to help you beat the heat.
Need help with your unit, or interested in having it fine-tuned this spring? We’d love to help.
We’re HVAC and plumbing repair experts servicing the greater Phoenix area. Contact us today to schedule a repair or AC unit maintenance service. We’ll help you keep your cool!
Read related articles:
- 3 Reasons an HVAC Maintenance Program Saves You Money
- 3 Expert Tips To Avoid Costly HVAC Repairs in Phoenix
- 10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Heating and Cooling System Costs
About the Author
Chris and Stacia Hays, are the owners of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family owned and operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling and Heating focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact Chris or Stacia today.