Air Conditioners last longer and run more efficiently if they are properly maintained and cared for. We recommend having a professional HVAC company service the A/C once a year. Most people don’t follow that recommendation. Here are a few A/C maintenance tips for do-it-your-selfers and everyone else who does not know their HVAC tech on a first name basis.

– Keep grasses and shrubs trimmed back from A/C’s. Allow approx. 2’ clearance on all sides for good air flow.

– Keep condenser coils clean and free from debris such as cotton. Simply spraying the unit with a garden hose can do the trick – best to remove the top cover and spray from the inside out if possible.

– Keep exterior refrigerant lines insulated. Insulation can start to wear after 5-10 years. Foam wrap insulation that looks like pool noodles is available at the big box home improvement stores.

– Make sure Rover isn’t marking his territory on the A/C. The acid in dog urine can significantly damage the fins and coils of an A/C.

– On top of a furnace sits the A-coil. An A-coil works in tandem with the exterior A/C unit known as the condenser. The A-coil will sweat as it pulls the humidity out of the air. The dripping water collects in a pan under the A-coil and then drains out, typically to a floor drain. If the drain ever gets plugged, all that water can leak into the furnace or onto the floor. To help avoid a plugged drain make sure a proper furnace air filter is being used. If dust isn’t caught by the filter it will collect on the A-coil and quickly plug the drain.

Knowing how to care for an A/C can reduce the risk of premature replacement cost and the lower the amount of energy required to operate.