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A Comprehensive Guide to Central AC Maintenance

14 min read
A Comprehensive Guide to Central AC Maintenance

So, you’re interested in learning more about central AC maintenance. For years you’ve been paying an HVAC company to do the job for you, but you’re ready to try to take on the task yourself.

Well, believe it or not, you can save a lot of money by doing your HVAC maintenance yourself. Once you have the supplies, and you learn where everything is, you can finish up in about an hour, assuming you only have one unit.

But what exactly goes into performing an HVAC maintenance? And what can you do to make sure you’re doing everything as safe as possible? We’ve got the answers to those questions, and more, in this article!

Now then, let’s get started!

Check Both the Heat and Air

Regardless of what time of year it is, if you’re performing maintenance on your HVAC system, you should check both the heat and the air. By doing this, you can confirm that your entire system is working properly.

And if you notice a problem, like maybe your heat isn’t working in the summer, you won’t be shocked when it doesn’t turn on in a few months. Also, you’ll be able to take care of the issue before you actually need your heat again, which is a huge plus.

Change or Clean the Filters

When most people think of HVAC maintenance, they think of changing or cleaning their filters. This is quite important, as not changing your filters often can cause a ton of issues to your HVAC system that can cost lots of money to repair.

Although routine maintenance should occur once every 6 months, you may need to change your filters more often than that. In fact, it’s a good idea to check your filters monthly to make sure they’re still in good condition.

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A pro tip? Write the date on your filters when you change them. That way you can get an idea of how often you need to change them after a few months, allowing you to change your schedule to fit your needs.

Also, don’t forget about your filter AC filter grille covers. They often need to be cleaned as well, as they can collect lots of specks of dust and dirt over time.

Remove Leaves From the Condenser

The outdoor half of your HVAC system most likely collects a lot of leaves, especially during the fall. So before you clean the coils on that unit, it’s a good idea to take the top off of it and remove any debris, like leaves and sticks, from inside of the unit.

If left, these items can damage your fan blade motor, even the blade itself. You can also end up spending hundreds of dollars repairing or replacing both, which isn’t what you want.

Before you take the top off of your unit, be sure to kill the power to it beforehand so you can work on it safely. Simply turning it off at the thermostat is not enough, you’re going to want to pull the fuse or flip the breaker to shut power off completely.

Clean the Indoor and Outdoor Coils

A huge piece of any HVAC maintenance is cleaning the indoor and outdoor coils on your system.

Of course, if you only have one large unit outside of your home, you just need to clean the coils on that unit. But if you have a split system, where half is outside and half is inside, you need to clean both coils.

Cleaning your indoor and outdoor coils requires different chemicals and supplies, so be sure to do a bit of research before trying it yourself.

Inspect Your Ductwork Thoroughly

Last but not least, you’re going to want to take some time to inspect your ductwork during every HVAC maintenance. Your ductwork should be either under your home or in your attic, although it can be other areas of your home if you have an uncommon layout.

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All you need to do is to make sure all of your ducts appear to still be hanging and connected. Also, you’re going to want to make sure the insulation is still on your ductwork as well, to prevent your ductwork from sweating.

Before you venture into the attic or under your home, take a second to feel the airflow coming out of your vents from your vents inside your home. You can note any issues that you may have in a certain area or room, that way you know which parts of your ductwork to pay greater attention to.

A Basic Guide to Central AC Maintenance

Well, there you have it! That is a basic guide to central AC maintenance, including a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when performing the service. So, with these ideas in mind, you can now safely perform your HVAC maintenance yourself!

Remember to check both the heat and the air during each maintenance. That way you can confirm everything is working properly or fix any issues before the next season.

Changing your filters is a given, but don’t forget to check them in between maintenance, too. Often times filters need to be changed more than every 6 months, so checking monthly is always a smart idea.

Once you’ve cleaned the coils and inspected the ductwork, you’re all set! Just remember to turn the power off to the unit before opening any panels or removing the top to keep yourself and your unit safe.

Looking for more ways to save money around the house? Check out our blog!

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