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AC Maintenance: 11 DIY Air Conditioning Cleaning Tips You Must Know

Is your home starting to feel a little stuffy? Maybe you noticed a sudden spike in your energy bills. In order for your air conditioner to work efficiently, you need to keep your unit clean.

Otherwise, you could end up paying a pretty hefty bull each month.

image - AC Maintenance: 11 DIY Air Conditioning Cleaning Tips You Must Know
AC Maintenance: 11 DIY Air Conditioning Cleaning Tips You Must Know

Regular AC maintenance could cut energy costs by 5 to 40%. However, many homeowners don’t know how to clean their AC alone. With these helpful DIY AC tips, you can clean your unit and prolong its lifespan.

Start cleaning with these 11 DIY AC tips today!


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  1. Remove Debris

First, make sure to check your AC unit for any debris. Debris can build up against the filter, coils, and unit. By decreasing airflow, the debris also diminishes the system’s capacity.

As a result, your energy bill will begin to rise.

Take the time to remove debris regularly, including:

  • Pollen
  • Grass clippings
  • Twigs
  • Leaves

Before you start cleaning, make sure to put on gloves and protective eye gear. You might also want to get a water hose with a sprayer attachment.

Make sure to shut your AC unit off before using these DIY AC tips. Then, clear away the debris that’s outside the unit. Check the area around the unit too.

Any shrubs or plants that are blocking airflow can also impact the unit’s performance.

Clearing away debris will improve airflow and your unit’s efficiency!

  1. Clean the Coils

While you’re outside clearing away debris, don’t forget to clean the coils. Again, you’ll want to make sure your unit is turned off, first.

Your AC unit’s coils ensure your unit runs reliably and effectively. Dirty coils can impact your unit’s efficiency. When the coils are clean, you can improve your home’s air quality while cutting energy and cooling costs.

Clean coils also help your unit run at its best while boosting airflow.

Dirty condenser coils, on the other hand, can cause additional damage to your unit. For example, they can impact energy efficiency and cause cooling to drop. When your AC isn’t working as intended, it requires more energy, which will impact your monthly energy bill.

Use a coil cleaner on the outside of your AC unit. Over the next 15 minutes, the cleaning foam should begin to bond with any dirt. You can then use your hose to rinse the coil cleaner away.

  1. Seasonal Maintenance

As you use these 11 AC maintenance tips, make sure to keep season maintenance in mind. In fact, the care your unit needs can differ based on the season.

During the summer, try shutting off the furnace humidifier’s water supply. Once it’s fall, replace the humidifier wick filter. You’ll want to set your humidistat to about 40% relative humidity before you turn the water back on.

If your unit isn’t functioning properly, you might want to invest in a new unit. In fact, switching to an ENERGY STAR qualified product could reduce annual energy bills by over $115.

Is your unit over 10 years old? It could struggle to function properly. In that case, you might want to get a newer unit.

You can learn more about AC replacement costs before purchasing a new unit.

It helps to have a professional take a look, too. Try to schedule your seasonal AC maintenance during the spring and fall. Most AC problems occur during the summer and winter months.

Scheduling your appointment ahead of time will help you ensure you get an appointment.

  1. Check the Filters

Try to change your AC unit’s filters every three months. Within that time, dust, mold, and dander can build up against the filter. Your family could end up breathing in dirty air that’s full of allergens.

A clogged air filter will impact your AC unit’s efficiency, too. Switching to a clean unit every few months will help you lower your energy bills.

  1. Check the Line and Ducts

You should also check your refrigerant lines regularly. If the line is damaged, you can get it replaced before it impacts your energy bill.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to check your heating and cooling ducts. Are they sealed and insulated properly? Checking your dust could improve your energy efficiency by as much as 20%.

  1. Improve Airflow

In addition to cleaning your AC, you should also check your unit’s registers and vents to improve airflow.

In order to avoid clogs, mix a solution of water and bleach. Pour the mixture down the AC’s condensate drain. This mixture will keep mold and algae from building up and impacting airflow.

  1. Change the Batteries

Don’t forget to check your home’s carbon monoxide detector as you use these AC maintenance tips. Updated batteries will ensure you know the moment there’s a leak. Otherwise, carbon monoxide in the air could cause an injury or even death.

  1. Install a New Thermostat

A new, programmable thermostat is a great way to improve your AC unit’s energy efficiency. These thermostats allow you to adjust your home’s temperature even while you’re out.

Adjusting the temperature as needed can help you improve your home’s energy efficiency. Meanwhile, you’re cutting costs and improving your system’s lifespan.

  1. Check for Bent Fins

Check your AC unit’s fins. Are any of them looking bent or crushed? You can adjust these fins with a dinner knife and a little pressure.

Make sure you don’t insert the knife further than a half-inch in.

You can also use a fin comb to separate any bent fins in your unit. Make sure to wear gloves before you start!

  1. Adjust the Temperature

During the summer, set your home to 78 degrees. For winter months, change it to 68 degrees. Adjusting your home’s temperature will help you save money and keep your unit functioning at its best.

Otherwise, your unit might work overtime during more severe months.

  1. Schedule Professional Servicing

There are some AC repairs you can’t do alone. That’s okay! Consider hiring an AC professional to check your unit for you.

They can make small repairs that will help you avoid bigger (more expensive) repairs in the future.

By scheduling regular AC maintenance, you can save money and push your unit’s lifespan to over 15 years.

Clear the Air: 11 DIY AC Maintenance Tips for Every Homeowner

Keep the air clean and your AC unit functioning at its best! With these 100 DIY AC maintenance tips, you can prolong your unit’s life and save money. Improve your home’s energy efficiency with these 11 tips today!

Looking for more ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency? Explore the Home Improvement section of the blog today!


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