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Feeling the heat? Four tips to keep an air conditioner running strong this summer.

June 25, 2020

June 20 marked the first official day of summer, but we Houstonians know it’s been feeling that way for a while now. These hot, humid days call for some serious air conditioning — which means maintaining an AC unit is more important than ever.

Over time, dust naturally accumulates inside the unit’s condenser fins and coils. Without regular cleanings, dirt and mold can build up, leading to blockages and reducing the system’s ability to cool air efficiently.

While there’s no substitute for an annual tune-up from an HVAC technician, a little routine maintenance can go a long way toward keeping that AC running strong.

  1. Keep the area around the AC unit clean. The first step to a well-maintained AC? Keeping the surrounding area tidy! Leaves, grass, and sticks can all get stuck inside an outdoor unit, clogging the fins, decreasing efficiency, and raising your electricity bills. To keep an AC working properly, you’ll want to keep the area around it clear.
  2. Clean the exterior. From pollen season to fall foliage, Houston conditions can be tough on outdoor units. To keep debris from making its way into the interior of the AC, take time to clear away any debris and lightly hose it down. (But make sure you turn off the power first!)
  3. Clear the primary drain line. Next, check the drain pan. A bit of standing water is normal, but an overflow of fluid can indicate a blockage in the drain line, leaving condensation to pool in the pan instead of being flushed out in the drain pump. To clear a completely clogged line, try a blast of compressed air or CO2. Once the line is draining properly again, keep it clear by pouring a pint of bleach down the drain at least twice a year.
  4. Change the HVAC filters. Now that you’ve gone to all the work of deep-cleaning the outdoor unit, make sure you’re maintaining it. Regular HVAC filter changes can keep dirt, dust, and allergens from making their way into your home. Depending on the type of unit you have, you may need to change our filters every month — or only every six months. Check your systems manual, or consult with a trusted professional to determine the correct frequency for your unit.

And there you have it: four easy steps to help you keep cool all summer long. Looking for a little extra help keeping that AC unit running like new? Give us a call today to schedule a walkthrough.

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