Not all air conditioning problems need an immediate call for HVAC technicians. Here are simple AC repairs and maintenance you can do yourself to keep the system running and free you from extra service charge.
Make sure to plug your system out of the main switch.
The basic rule in repairing any appliances: turn off your air conditioner then unplug it. This will prevent any electric-related accidents for you and your unit.
Begin with the outdoor unit.
Start with your outdoor unit. Leaves and other debris can get stuck in the condenser coil and block the system. You can make use of your garden hose to remove dirt build-up around the coil. You can use gentle streaming when you clean the fins. Straighten bent fins with fin tools but do it with extra care not to damage the tubing within.
Detach the top grille and pull the fan out. Vacuum clean or use a damp cloth to remove dust. You cannot completely pull it out of the case since there are wires connected to it.
Check if there are lubrication ports in your fan motor which need lubrication. For newer ports, the bearings are completely sealed so there’s no need to lubricate them.
Clean the indoor parts.
Replace dirty air filters. Clogged and dirty air filter can be another reason why you experience reduced cool air inside. Dirty filters can harm your health as well. Change air filters at least twice a year or sooner depending on your location and if you’re living with your pets.
If you get access to the evaporator coil, vacuum it and brush the fins gently just as what you’ve done in the outer unit. Vacuum the inside of the blower compartment and check for ports which need lubrication.
Flush bleach/water solution in the drain tube to remove the growth of algae and other dirt. Replace the tube if needed. Clean the drain port for dirt build-up, too.
Test the repairs that you made.
Make sure to dry the parts before reinstalling them back together. Then check your repair by plugging the unit. AC units and thermostats have delay feature which takes 10 minutes. You can usually see a “Be Patient At Start-Up” sign written below the thermostat. As the system starts, put the correct settings and your system is good to go.
It’s never wrong to try doing the easy fixes. But if your AC has a more complicated issue, it’s time to call an HVAC contractor to help you.