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During these hot and humid Florida months, we know your AC is a lifeline for a cool, dry home. As the summer heat rises, having an HVAC maintenance checklist as a homeowner can ensure you’re prepared, especially since it’s the busiest season for AC technicians. Staying ahead of the curve with regular AC maintenance can help prevent future problems and expenses, but if you’re unsure where to start, have no fear; we have you covered. 

Follow along and be sure to print out this comprehensive maintenance checklist.

 

1. Check Your Thermostat Settings ⬜️

AC Thermostat | HVAC List | AC Care Heat Air | Florida

A woman is pressing the down button of a wall attached house thermostat with digital display showing temperature 70 degree Fahrenheit for heating, cooling, electricity and gas saving

Checking your thermostat settings is crucial for maintaining comfort and energy efficiency. When you’re home, ensure the temperature is set to a comfortable level. Ensure your cool/heat/off switch is not turned off and verify the temperature settings are correct. Next, if everything looks fine, check your power supply as the thermostat might be disconnected or need new batteries. To save energy, set the temperature higher when you’re away. Many thermostats allow you to schedule temperature changes based on your daily routine, but if that’s not an option, you’ll have to set it manually.

2. Check/Change Your Air Filter ⬜️

AC Air Filter | HVAC List | AC Care Heat Air | Florida

Check your filter every month. If it’s covered in dust and dirt, it needs to be replaced. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.  Filters can get clogged in as little as 30 days, and most are clogged within 90 days, so regular checks are essential.

While it may sound simple, replacing your air filter can lower your AC’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%, potentially saving you thousands of dollars on your energy bill.

3. Tighten All Electrical Connections ⬜️

Faulty electrical connections can lead to unsafe operation of your system, and it can also shorten the lifespan of major components. Besides your thermostat, other parts of your AC system rely on electricity. After checking your thermostat, double-check that all other components are properly connected.

Before tightening any electrical connections, be sure to turn off the power supply. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and use tools to avoid touching wires with your bare hands. To be on the safe side, contact a professional AC technician to handle this if you’re not experienced with electrical work.

4. Lubricate All Moving Parts ⬜️

Parts that lack lubrication create friction within motors, forcing them to work harder and use more electricity to achieve the same level of performance. Not only does this lead to higher energy consumption ( and a higher bill and repairs), it also accelerates the wear and tear on the other motor components. Regular lubrication of moving parts is essential to a smooth operation, optimal energy use, and a prolonged equipment lifespan.

5. Check and Inspect Your AC Drain Line ⬜️

AC Drain Line | HVAC List | AC Care Heat Air | Florida

Your AC drain line (also known as a condensate drain line) serves as an exit route for the built-up moisture your AC unit collects when running. If the line gets clogged, water can leak, spreading bacteria and mold. Additionally, your AC drain pan also has the potential of becoming clogged or cracked, leading to leaks or pooling water.

To maintain your system, inspect the exterior drain line of your outdoor unit, which has a PVC cap. Use a flashlight to check for debris and trapped condensation, and clear them with a wet vac. Don’t forget to check the access point for the drain line inside your home, also covered with a PVC cap. 

DIY Tip: To remove debris, you can pour a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and warm water down the drain line. You can also use a wet/dry vac to remove built-up debris.

6. Clean Your Evaporator and Condensing Coils ⬜️

Your evaporator coils are one of the main components to keeping your home cool. These coils absorb heat and humidity from the air inside your home, allowing the refrigerant to carry it outside. However, if your coils become dirty, they can’t successfully transfer heat, reducing your system’s ability to cool your home. This inefficiency causes the system to run longer, leading to higher energy costs and accelerated wear and tear on the equipment, ultimately shortening its lifespan.

While you can vacuum dust from your coils, it’s best to leave this task to a professional. Accidental damage to the coils can lead to costly repairs and reduced system efficiency.

7. Inspect/Clean Your Ducts ⬜️

Walk along the length of your system and carefully inspect for any gaps or loose connections between your ducts. These gaps can cause air leaks, which reduces the efficiency of your system and increases your energy costs. If you notice any issues, promptly install new seals and insulation to ensure a tight, secure fit.

After inspecting your ducts, thoroughly clean them with a vacuum cleaner, removing any dust, debris, and potential mold. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your ductwork help maintain a healthy indoor environment and ensure your HVAC system operates at peak efficiency.

Neglecting to clean your ducts can lead to mold and dust circulating through your home, which can negatively impact your indoor air quality, potentially causing health issues. Pests may also find their way into your ductwork, creating nests and further compromising your system.

8. Check Your AC’s Refrigerant Level ⬜️

Refrigerant Level Check | HVAC List | AC Care Heat Air | Florida

Your refrigerant levels also affect how well your AC performs. It’s also important you check them monthly and adjust as needed to ensure optimal efficiency. If you set your AC unit to cool your house but feel hot air flowing, that could indicate a clogged or leaking refrigerant line.

Also, having too much or too little refrigerant can significantly impact your system’s efficiency, leading to increased energy costs and potentially reducing the lifespan of your equipment. Regularly monitoring and maintaining proper refrigerant levels is essential for running your AC smoothly and efficiently.

9. Inspect Cooling Coils for Frost or Ice Buildup ⬜️

Cooling Coils Ice | HVAC List | AC Care Heat Air | Florida

Even in the hot, steamy months of South Florida, your cooling coils can have ice buildup.

How can frost or ice buildup on cooling coils in Florida, you may ask?

Having too little refrigerant can cause a freeze and if the refrigerant cannot circulate and operate, your coils can freeze  If your evaporator coils get too cold, the warm air surrounding them can condense and form ice. Ice buildup will cause your compressor to run at a high temperature and burn your unit out. 

Your coils may also freeze because of refrigerant leaks.

If you notice ice, turn off your unit and wait for the ice to melt. Clean your coils and check your unit for any debris buildup or blockages that may keep the air around your coils from escaping. 

10. Check the Controls of Your System ⬜️

Finally, listen to your unit. To ensure proper and safe operation, checking the starting cycle of your equipment can help identify any potential issues early on, including irregular starts, continuous running, or unexpected shutdowns. Regular checks of the starting cycle contribute to the overall reliability and longevity of your HVAC system.

Now that you’ve gone over your list, double-check it. If you come across any problems out of your scope, you should call a professional AC technician. From routine maintenance to energy-efficient upgrades, AC Care Heat & Air has the solutions to reduce your energy costs and enhance your home’s comfort.

Call us today to schedule an appointment with our skilled technicians.

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