In Florida, our AC units are really put to the test during the summer months with temperatures reaching well above the 90’s. The following checklist should be performed on your HVAC at least once each year.
Turn Off Power
Before you begin work on anything electrical, always be sure to turn off the power source first. Your shutoff box should be located outside the unit and remember to turn off power from the breaker box as well.
In order for the exterior condenser to remove warm air from your home, it needs proper ventilation. If debris such as dirt and leaves start to pile up, the condenser will freeze up. Trim any foliage that might be growing around the unit in order to prevent this from happening.
Clean the Unit
Start by removing the grille cover to the unit. You can easily clean the fins using a water hose from your yard but remember to always spray from inside the unit so the debris will be pushed out. Never use a pressure washer to clean your HVAC, it can damage the unit and bend the fins.
Oil the Motor
While the unit is still open, it would be wise to also oil the motor. You’ll want to check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how this can be done.
Clean the Coils
Locate the evaporator and condenser coils and remove any debris you may find. If you notice frost on your evaporator coil or condenser coil, you may need to call a technician to help identify the problem.
Restart the Unit
After completing the above steps, reinstall the grille cover and turn the power back on and make sure your AC is working properly.
Check the Air Filter
As a general rule, you should replace your air filter every 90 days. During the summer months, you may want to replace more frequently. The air filter traps dirt and dust from going into the vents and once it becomes backed up, your AC will not flow properly.
Performing HVAC maintenance yourself can go a long way and can save you money, but you should still have your AC unit professionally inspected once or twice a year.