10 HVAC Maintenance Tips

Close up of someone inspecting an air conditioning system

If you’ve been burned by high energy bills or emergency air conditioning repairs in the past, you know the importance of being proactive about maintenance. In addition to your annual AC tune-up, there are steps any homeowner can take to prepare the AC for summer, avoid future repairs, and extend the life of the equipment.

Test Your Air Conditioner

If you haven’t started using your air conditioning yet this year, go ahead and turn it on now. Set it to several degrees below the current temp to make sure it can get cool. Listen for strange noises and look for leaks or other obvious problems.

Clean the Filter and Set a Schedule

Change your air filter (or clean a disposable filter), because dirty air makes the equipment have to work harder and can lead to freeze-ups or breakdowns. Then mark your calendar so you’ll remember to clean the filter once per month during cooling season, or however often the manufacturer recommends.

Clear Debris from the Outdoor Unit

Pick up leaves, branches, and trash that might have collected around your outdoor AC unit. If shrubs grow close to the equipment, prune them back to leave a few feet of space.

Straighten Bent Fins

Do the condenser fins look flattened? An AC tune-up will straighten things out. You can get a fin comb at the hardware store but be very careful!

Clean the Outdoor Unit

Use a vacuum attachment to clean the coils. For even better results, schedule a maintenance visit by a Philadelphia air conditioning company that will thoroughly clean all components.

Get a Smart Thermostat

One of the best ways to maintain your AC is to use it a little bit less. A programmable thermostat can pay for itself by avoiding energy waste while you’re at work, while extending the AC lifespan.

Use a Ceiling Fan

If you’re willing to turn the thermostat up a degree or two, using a ceiling fan to save energy will absolutely take some pressure off your AC and keep it running stronger over time.

Check Insulation and Weatherstripping

Philadelphia homes should have at least R-38 insulation in the attic. Consider adding more insulation wherever you can, and check window and door seals and weatherstrips to replace or add them as needed.

Throw Some Shade

Everyone likes letting in natural light, but you can maintain your AC better by avoiding excessive heat gain. Use blinds or heavy curtains on east- and west-facing windows, or grow shade trees outside of them.

Never Skip Annual AC Maintenance

If everything seems fine, you might be wondering if professional AC maintenance is worth it. At W.F. Smith, our tune-up includes more than just changing the filter and cleaning the air conditioner. We test for airflow and efficiency, tighten electrical connections, and spot concerns early before something serious happens.

To schedule AC maintenance in Philly, call 215-624-1313 or contact us online!

W.F. Smith HVAC testimonial

Everyone, with whom I had personal or telephone contact, was agreeable, helpful and informative.