If you’re a confident homeowner, you’re probably used to doing things yourself. DIY is a great way to save on a budget. But if you’ve ever stared at a failed or unfinished Pinterest project, you’ll know that the most important part is knowing when you’re in over your head. Check out these air conditioner maintenance tips for the smart way to do it yourself (and when to call a pro).
Safe DIY Air Conditioner Repair Tips – Things You CAN Do Yourself
Here are some safe and effective DIY tasks to do yourself.
Batteries Not Included*
Replace the batteries in the thermostat. Avoid air conditioners not working properly due to malfunctioning digital controls. Make your digital thermostat easy to remember by changing the battery of the digital thermostat at the same time as the smoke detector (the spring and fall time change).
Replace Filters Frequently
Replace or clean the air filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have the paperwork that came with the device, check the external device for a nameplate. You can then search the manufacturer’s website for instructions on the model number. Failing that, you can safely assume you should change the air filter every 60-90 days, depending on your environment. Things like pets, nearby construction, and dusty roads can clog your filter more frequently. Choose the filter that suits your environment. If your family has allergy sufferers, use a filter with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
Keep the System Clean
The best air conditioning repair tips we can give you include keeping your system clean. Air circulation is important to your air conditioning system. Make sure there are no clogged filters, closed or blocked vents or leaking ducts to help with this. Move furniture away from AC/heating or return air vents, and remove leaves and junk from the external cooling unit. Airflow problems can cause temperature changes, stuffy air, coil freezing and compressor failure.
Track Maintenance Schedules
You should perform routine maintenance on your HVAC system twice a year, so mark your calendar the last time you’ve done it. Be sure your routine maintenance plan includes coil cleaning for more insurance against breakdowns during peak cooling season.
Clean Water Damage by Leakage
After a failure, try to prevent water damage as much as possible and try to find the source of the leak. This will give you a better understanding of the situation when our service technician arrives. You can use a shop vac to remove standing water to prevent damage.
Keep Those Ducts Clean
Make a duct cleaning appointment. It’s not part of routine maintenance, so it’s a good option if you suspect clogging or contamination. If you notice a musty smell, or you notice you’re having to dust your home frequently, your ducts definitely need cleaning.
Complicated Air Conditioner Repairs You Shouldn’t Attempt
The key to successful DIYs: don’t get in over your head. Air conditioning repairs can be complicated and potentially dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. All those DIY remodeling projects on HGTV where the host completes them in ½ hour are a fantasy! When it comes to air conditioning repair tips, DIY failures are a recipe for disaster. Not only will you further damage the air conditioner if you are not properly trained, but the use of refrigerant chemicals and high voltage electricity can be life-threatening.
When You Should Call a Pro HVAC Technician
Stay safe by having professionals complete the following tasks:
- Do not attempt to replace a digital. Replacing a damaged or dysfunctional digital thermostat can be tricky. A few years ago, this was a relatively simple project. However, if you have a digital thermostat, you may fry the eletronics by connecting it incorrectly. We have many affordable options to update your thermostat to a new WiFi controlled digital thermostat.
- Do not attempt to clean the coil yourself. Evaporator and condenser coils are delicate; these tiny fins can easily be damaged if the wrong cleaning product or method is used. These parts are vital to your air conditioner. Damaged coils will cause overheating and larger failures.
- Do not attempt to add refrigerant. Handling these chemicals is dangerous and requires an EPA certification. The task requires trained precision and knowledge of exactly how much refrigerant is needed. If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, simply re-filling the system will not solve the problem. You must have a qualified professional service technician to find and fix the leak.
- Don’t try to fix electrical problems. If the AC power or furnace is damaged after a power outage, power down the system and leave it off until professional help is available. Needless to say, doing this yourself can be a fatal mistake if you’re not trained to handle high voltage electricity. Even the best air conditioning maintenance tips won’t save you from the danger of electrocution. At any given moment, AC equipment is using enough power to kill you or start a fire. Do not put yourself at risk by messing with the electrical parts of the device.
- HVAC technicians require years of training. They are certified to ensure they can handle a wide range of equipment properly. Technicians not only learn how to fix HVAC equipment, but also how to perform preventative maintenance. YouTube tutorials are no substitute for the education an AC technician receives.
- This training must continue throughout the technician’s career. Standards and technology in the industry change so quickly that it is necessary to avoid outdated skills.
- HVAC technicians use expensive tools only available to professionals. Often the cost of a single tool can negate the cost advantage of DIY.
- Each system and brand of air conditioning system is different and complex. People who offer unprofessional air conditioning repair tips online may not realize that their advice doesn’t apply to all systems or situations.
- In addition to the dangerous elements, certain air conditioning components are also delicate. Evaporator coils and heat exchangers are easily damaged. So before heading to Wikihow for some air conditioning repair tips that technicians have spent years learning, think about the consequences. You don’t want your repairs to make things worse (and they often do).
- Faulty, leaking furnaces can leak deadly carbon monoxide(CO) into the home. The furnace’s heat exchanger expands and contracts as it pushes combustion gases out of the building. This can cause cracks that allow odorless, toxic gases to enter the building. Most homeowners don’t have the expertise or detection equipment to detect a deadly CO leak.
More Air Conditioning Repair Tips
Learn! The best way to take care of your air conditioning system yourself is to understand its needs and most importantly, your limitations as a DIYer. Familiarize yourself with the type of system in your home; record brand names, model numbers and serial numbers and keep the information accessible, ready to share with your HVAC service when you call for service. Keep track of when it was last service.
Maintenance plans vs Full Home Warranty. We offer annual maintenance plans which includes semi-annual routine maintenance for your HVAC system, discounts on labor and parts, and front of the line service. But another type is a full-coverage warranty contract, which supposedly pays for replacement parts and labor. Our experience is these home warranty programs are generally not worth the trouble; the warranty companies often fight with homeowners over needed repairs and often deny coverage. They can also take days to ‘approve’ a repair. Many HVAC contractors prefer not to perform repairs through a home warranty program, as they tend to disapprove needed repairs or refuse to pay market price on repairs.
WE ARE BUCKEYE LAKE HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING EXPERTS
In continuous operation since 1962, our expertise goes beyond just the mechanicals of your HVAC system. We’re pretty handy when it comes to ductwork and system-wide maintenance as well. For top-notch service keeping your home’s heating and cooling system clean and your family breathing clean, filtered air, contact Dor-Mar today.
To determine if installing an affordable Ultraviolet-C lighting system is right for you, contact our friendly customer service team and we’ll arrange for a free evaluation and price quote.
Our team offers a wide array of routine maintenance and emergency services for your heating and cooling system, allowing your family to breathe fresh, safe, clean air and be comfortable year-round. We also offer a number of add-ons to your HVAC equipment that can improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), such as electrostatic air filters, whole-house humidifiers, duct cleaning, Ultraviolet-C lighting systems, and more.
Schedule an appointment for HVAC system troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call our new Buckeye Lake office listed below. We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it.
BUCKEYE LAKE HEATING & COOLING HOTLINE 740.817.4058
Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!