It is important to keep our air conditioning systems running efficiently. Tuning up your AC is a great way to keep it running at peak performance. Spring is the best time to conduct AC tune ups, as AC usage usually increases in the summer.
New air conditioners can cost anywhere from $5000 to $12000. Yearly tune-ups on your AC extend the life of the unit, saving you money. A once-per-year AC service tune-up also helps you save on cooling and heating costs, as well. This guide explains what AC tune-ups are and how you can conduct one yourself.
What is Involved in an AC Tune-Up?
Just as we get tune-ups for our cars to keep them running at their best, AC systems also require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. This process is akin to a tune-up, ensuring all parts of your AC system are functioning correctly.
Professional AC technicians, like those at our company, can perform comprehensive tune-ups that include checking your AC unit from top to bottom. They’ll inspect all components, clean them, refill necessary fluids, change filters, and replace any damaged parts if needed. This thorough service is part of our commitment to maintaining the health of your AC system.
If you’re more of a DIY person, you can also perform a basic AC tune-up yourself. This would involve cleaning certain parts and inspecting others for any signs of damage. However, for a more comprehensive service, especially when it comes to complex tasks like AC installation, it’s best to rely on professionals.
AC installation is a critical process that requires expertise and precision. A poorly installed AC can lead to numerous problems down the line, including inefficient cooling and frequent breakdowns. That’s why, in addition to offering tune-ups, we also provide expert AC installation services. This way, you can rest assured that your AC system is not only well-maintained but also correctly installed, ready to keep you cool all summer long!
Step-by-Step AC Tune Up Guide
To conduct an AC tune-up yourself, there are a few things you need first. Some common items you may need to do a tune-up are a shop vacuum, coil cleaner, gloves, goggles, face mask, spray bottles, soap, vinegar, distilled water, a soft-bristled brush, and a screwdriver. The following section explains how to do each step in the AC tune-up process.
It is really important to turn the power off to the units before you start the tune-up. You don’t want to get any electrical injuries! For your own safety, make sure each unit is switched off. The indoor unit should have a switch near the main service panel, make sure you switch it off. The outdoor unit has its own disconnect switch. Wait 30 minutes after turning off the power to begin the tune-up.
It is always a good idea to wear protective gear when working on your AC system. At a minimum, you should wear gloves, goggles, and a face mask when doing a tune-up on your AC system. Tune-ups can be messy, so you might want to wear older clothes, also.
AC filters help keep dust, dirt, and other debris out of the AC. This helps the AC run better and also helps keep the air quality better. Cleaning or changing the filters is an important part of a tune-up.
The filter is usually located inside or beside the indoor cabinet. It may also be in a return duct or behind the return grille. Regularly changing or washing your AC filters is an important part of AC maintenance and should be done at least four times per year.
Now, it’s time to clean the condenser unit, also called the outdoor unit. Since this unit is outside, it can get a lot of dust, grime, and debris build up. It’s important to keep it clean. Sweep away any dirt, twigs, or other debris.
Take off the unit grilles or panels to access the coils. You may need a screwdriver to remove them. Inspect the coils. If there is only a light coating of dust, you can clean them with compressed air or a vacuum.
If they are very dirty or have any mold or mildew, you can clean them with soap and water. After washing, spray down with a mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar kills bacteria and helps prevent mold growth. Then, rinse with distilled water.
The coolant lines carry coolant to and from the indoor and outdoor units. They are made of copper pipes that are covered in insulation. After you have cleaned the condenser unit, check the coolant lines. Look for any damaged or missing parts of the insulation. Replace any damaged or missing insulation, or hire an AC technician to do it for you.
Now, it’s time clean the drain line and drain pan. Remove the access panel, which will be under the indoor unit’s evaporator coils. Soak up any standing water you see with a towel or a shop vacuum. Check the drain line for any clogs. You can use the shop vacuum to remove the clogs. Clean the drain pan with soap and water. Add vinegar if there is any mold or mildew.
Take a look at the grilles and registers. If you see any dirt or grime, vacuum them. If the grilles and registers are removable, you can wash them with soap and water.
Damaged insulation can cause you to have energy losses. Inspect your air duct insulation. Look for any holes, tears, or cracks. Look for any damp areas. If you find any wet or damaged parts, have the insulation repaired or replaced as soon as possible?
Now that the tune-up is complete, you can turn your power back on. Turn on the AC and make sure it is functioning properly. Put it on a low, cool setting. If it’s blowing cold air, you did a great job on your tune-up! If you find any damaged parts on your AC unit, call a professional right away.
An AC tune-up is a great way to keep your system running efficiently and working at its best. Be sure to have one conducted once per year for the best results. Not only do tune-ups extend the life of your AC unit, but it also keeps you cooler and saves you money, too.