It’s no secret that most people look for ways to keep their homeownership costs low. Do it yourself (DIY) home maintenance can be an excellent way to save money. So when it comes to air conditioning, what things can you do yourself and when do you need to call the professionals? Here are a few air conditioner maintenance & troubleshooting tasks you can definitely DIY, even for those homeowners that are not so handy.
DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance
Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners never schedule HVAC maintenance! Maintenance is crucial for the long-term health and performance of your air conditioner. Just think of all the other things we maintain: our car with oil changes, our teeth with dental checkups, even our lawn with weekly mowing (okay, maybe every other week). Given your air conditioner works hard for you every day of the summer, consider showing it a little TLC with some maintenance that you can do yourself:
Change Your Filter – Replacing your air filter is not just good for your indoor air quality. A clogged filter (much like a clogged drain) can make it more difficult for air to pass through your coil. That means your A/C is using more energy than it really needs. So can’t remember when you replaced your filter last, it’s time. Most homeowners can get by with replacing every three months. But if you have pets or any allergy sufferers in your home, a safer bet would be monthly.
Tidy Your Outdoor Unit – A good habit is to walk around the exterior of your home about once a month. You can look for cracks in your foundation or roof or gutter damage from one of our infamous Round Rock hail storms. But when you get to your air conditioner unit, look for anything that might impede airflow to the unit. Trim any plants or brush back to at least 3 feet away from the unit.
Thermostat Check – Many modern thermostats come with programming or schedules that can enhance your energy savings. Before the summer heat really takes hold, spend 10 minutes verifying your schedule still meets your lifestyle. And – can you try bumping up those setpoints by just one degree? You may not even notice, and that minor change can save a bundle on your utilities.
DIY Air Conditioner Troubleshooting
Before you call us for air conditioner service, there are a few things you can check on your own. Even if you cannot fully resolve the problem, telling us the outcome of what you have tried so far can expedite the repair process. So if your air conditioner isn’t working right, here are a few ways you can DIY troubleshoot:
Power Check – Is it plugged in? Just kidding. But in all seriousness, look for signs that your air conditioner has power. A neighborhood blackout or power surge can be the culprit for a non-responsive A/C. First, check the breaker box for any switches flipped to the tripped or off position. If so, moving them to the on position may fix your problem. Another place to check is your thermostat. If your thermostat doesn’t have power at all, or shows a communication error with your system, there is an underlying power issue. Resolving that matter will probably get you a working AC again.
Drain Pans – If your drain pan is full, your air conditioner will automatically stop to prevent an overflow. Usually, a drain pan full of water means you have a clog in the pipes where water normally flows out. If you’re not sure how to clear a blocked drain line, you can at least empty the drain pan to get your AC started again. Then call our team for a speedy repair.
Investigate vane positions – If your AC is operating but there’s one or two spaces that still don’t feel comfortable, it’s time to grab a step ladder. Check the adjustable vanes on all your air vents; not just the ones in the finicky spaces. Try closing off vents in spaces you don’t use regularly like guest bedrooms and make sure vents are fully open in the spaces that need cooling.
Call DTC For AC Maintenance and Troubleshooting
There are some air conditioner maintenance & repairs that only skilled professionals can manage. A state certified technician should handle any problems involving your compressor, ductwork, refrigerant, fan, or coils. Our team is local to the Georgetown area, so we can get to your home fast—usually on the same day. Call us at 512-887-5091 for service; we’re here to help!
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