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Potter Heating Cooling & Plumbing Blog

3 Tips for Homeowner AC Maintenance

Professional maintenance for your air conditioner is very important, but homeowner maintenance steps are what can make or break your air conditioner. Keeping up with homeowner maintenance is the best way to ensure that your air conditioner maintains energy efficiency and enjoys a long lifespan. 

Whether you need Finger Lakes HVAC installation or repairs, our team is always here to help. You’re even welcome to call us and ask questions if you think something is wrong with your AC unit. In the meantime, you can keep reading to learn our top three care tips for maintaining your air conditioner from month to month.

Maintaining the Air Filter

Your first stop should be maintaining the air filter. This includes knowing what type of air filter you purchase for use and how often you change it. All air filters come with a MERV rating that estimates the ability to filter out harmful particles in the air. 

For a residential HVAC system, you want to look for an air filter with a MERV rating between 8 and 13. Anything less than eight may not be filtering out enough. Anything stronger than a 13 may be woven so tightly that it blocks airflow into your system and places a strain on the unit.

Your next step is to read the filter and find out how long it is rated to last. Air filters usually are effective for anywhere between 1-3 months. It’s a good idea to write the date when you put the air filter in place on its edge so there’s no guesswork involved about when it needs to be changed out. 

Then set a reminder on your phone or calendar to change your air filter out a few days ahead of that expiration date. Leaving a dirty air filter in place can block airflow and lessen your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home down effectively.

Rinsing the Condensate Drain Line

When you change the filter, you should also remove the cap on the condensate drain line and pour about a half of a cup of vinegar into the line. The condensate drain line is where humidity condenses down into moisture and drains outside of your home as a way of helping your home feel more comfortable. 

But this line is very prone to clogs because of dust buildup and mold growth. Pouring vinegar into the line is a great way to prevent buildup and remove mold spores. Just look for the small pipe extending up near the indoor portion of your air conditioning unit and remove the cap on top to rinse out the line, replacing it again when you are finished.

Checking the Outdoor AC Unit

The outdoor portion of your air conditioning unit needs some love, too. All you have to do is walk around your outdoor AC unit and inspect it once each month. If it looks particularly dirty, you can hose it off using gentle water pressure. If any of the metal fins are bent, you can use a butter knife to gently straighten them out. It’s also a good idea to remove any debris that you notice, like leaves and twigs.

Contact Potter Heating Cooling & Plumbing today to schedule your AC services. Our team is here to help with all of your heating and air conditioning needs.

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