HVAC Technician working on AC unit - How to Keep Your AC Healthy Between Service Visits in 4 Steps

Seasonal air conditioner maintenance (i.e. regular service visits) is the most important factor in extending the lifespan and maintaining the efficiency of your central air conditioning system. Ordinary wear and tear, especially dirt and grime buildup, can cause your AC to overwork, struggle, overheat and eventually break down.

A quick clean will help you catch any smaller problems before they become serious. Something as normal as a layer of leaves on your outdoor unit can eventually cause your entire system to fail. So, to keep everything in good shape, here are a few tips.

1. Change your filters every 4 weeks

This is the most important chore for your family’s health.

Old, dirty air filters don’t do their job. The air you breathe in your home won’t be as clean as it ought to be, which can lead to everything from excess dust to respiratory problems. Dirty air filters can also allow dirt and grime to build up in your ducts, lowering the overall efficiency of your system and harboring microbes and mites that can multiply and get into the air in your home.

Once a month, replace or clean your air filters.

  • For 1″ filters, look for one that you can’t see through when you hold it up to the light to make sure it’s actually doing the job in the first place
  • For larger washable filters, thoroughly rinse and dry them every 30 days. Swapping between 2 filters every month is easiest.

Close up of AC unit - How to Keep Your AC Healthy Between Service Visits in 4 Steps

2. Keep the drain clean and clear

As your air conditioner keeps the house cool, condensation builds up in the system and drains through a series of tubes. If left stagnant, these pipes grow ground for mould and fungus, which can spread and clog your whole drainage system.

Once a year, as part of regular air conditioner maintenance, your Woodbridge GTA ClimateCare specialist brings a powerful vacuum to siphon everything out of the pipes.

To prevent gunk from growing, add 1/4 cup bleach mixed with 3/4 cup water directly to your drain line’s access port (usually a T-valve) every three months. If the plug on your access port has a wire coming out of it, switch off your air conditioner’s breaker before you remove the cap, and replace it when you’re done.

3. Wash out that condenser

This is the most common reason we receive early summer emergency calls.

During the off-season, your condenser can get clogged with leaves, dirt, and other gunk. This hinders circulation and can actually prevent your air conditioning unit from cooling at all.

On the first of every month, visually inspect your air conditioner’s outdoor unit. Trim back any grass, weeds, hedges, or other plants, and remove or gently brush away any leaves or dirt stuck inside. Switch off your air conditioner and rinse the outside surface. A garden hose with a spray nozzle works just fine as long as you spray from top to bottom.

4. Give the thermostat some new batteries

Our technicians calibrate your thermostat as part of the annual air conditioner maintenance, and that includes fresh batteries. However, if it goes out between checkups, you can easily replace the batteries yourself.

Some thermostats have flip-open battery covers, but usually, you’ll have to gently pull the thermostat or its faceplate away from the wall. Just swap them out and pop the thermostat back in place—but make sure you shut off your thermostat’s breaker before you start to avoid getting shocked.

There you have it! You can help maintain your home comfort equipment between service visits without being an expert.

Bonus: Book Your Professional Service Visits in Advance

Book us for a visit for all those other air conditioner maintenance jobs. We’re your best source for professional, courteous service anywhere in Toronto.

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