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Do-It-Yourself AC Maintenance Tips

Replace Your Filter

The main thing that must be done to keep your unit running efficiently is cleaning or replacing your filter. The filter is usually located in one of the following places:

  1. In the grille in your wall or ceiling.
  2. In a slot on the side, bottom, or top of your furnace.
  3. Inside the blower compartment of your furnace or air handler.

It is just a matter of removing it and replacing it with another of the same size. You should do this at least every three months, but it is recommended that you check the filter on a monthly basis. If your filter is washable, clean it with 409 detergent, rinse thoroughly and let it dry before re-installing it.

Wash the outside of your unit

Over time, dirt, leaves, grass clippings, etc. build up on the outside of the unit. The result of this is lower system capacity. You will most likely see the effects of it on your electric bill. Cleaning the unit is simple. Shut the power off to the unit. Then, use a garden hose and gently wash out the debris. Start at the top, holding the nozzle of the hose at about a 45 degree angle to the unit. Work your way down and around the unit, flushing the debris out as you go. Do not use a power washer and be careful not to mash the fins on the coil.

Thermostat

If your thermostat is blank and has no display – you may need to change the batteries. Just pull the face of thermostat off and install new batteries. Replace the face back on the wall and turn thermostat on. If there is still no display, the problem could be with the electrical components or the unit. Contact us for a service call if your thermostat continues to stay blank.

Cooling Tips

  1. Never run your air conditioning when the outside temperature is below 60 degrees. This may cause the coils to frost up, restricting air flow.
  2. Always turn on power 24 hours before using a central air conditioner. This gives the unit time to separate oil from the refrigerant before cool air is required.
  3. Pull the shades and blinds on the sides of the house that get the most direct and intense sun. This will not only keep your home cooler, but will also protect your home from sun damaged furniture and sun damaged floors.
  4. By using ceiling fans and box fans, you can circulate the cool air quicker and help out your air conditioning unit. Also, move drapes, pots and furniture away from vents so that the air can free flow to reach more area.
  5. If you have any doubts about the efficiency or effectiveness of your air conditioning unit, have it inspected by one of our technicians. A professional can make the appropriate adjustments to ensure your unit runs in prime condition.

Heating Tips

  1. Check the pilot light if you have a natural gas system. The flame should always be clear blue. A yellow or orange flame could be a sign of a problem.
  2. Before winter begins, test your heater to see if it runs. Contact us if you don’t feel any warm air coming from the vents.
  3. Inspect the furnace for worn, shiny or sagging belts. They cause undue stress on the fan motor. Repairs require loosening the motor chassis mounts and sliding the motor back enough to make the belt taut and aligned with the fan.
  4. Seal air leaks in attic, basement and crawl space, and also around windows and doors.
  5. If you have any doubts about the efficiency or effectiveness of you heating unit, have it inspected by one of our technicians. A professional can make the appropriate adjustments to ensure your unit runs in prime condition.

If your unit is not operating properly, please schedule a repair to have your system thoroughly inspected.