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Question: What can I do to make my air conditioner last longer? Any maintenance tips?

dirty AC coil

Questions: What can I do to make my air conditioner or heat pump last longer? What can I do to make sure my air conditioner is ready to go for the summer? Do you have any maintenance tips or advice?

Answer: Yes! The homeowner DIY person can do many maintenance checks and jobs to make sure the air conditioner or heat pump is ready to go for the summer.  We have a video below made by Word of Advice TV that shows 15 maintenance tips that will help you make sure that your AC or heat pump is ready to go for the summer. Doing these maintenance tips will help to make sure that your unit is ready to go for the summer and prolong the life of your air conditioner or heat pump. We have the 15 tips written below if you do not want to watch the video. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at or comment below in the comments section. Thanks so very much for visiting our site!  Steve & Barbara Arnold

The 15 air conditioner or heat pump maintenance tips are:

  1. Uncover the condensing unit (if you cover it up in the wintertime).  Make sure that you have at least 12″ of clearance around the unit. If you have any tall grass, weeds or bushes then trim those back.
  2. Thoroughly clean the condensing coil with a water hose with a nozzle on the end. *Make sure that you turn the unit off at the electrical disconnect or breaker box before using water on the condenser. As you know water and electricity do not mix. Make sure that the water force from the hose nozzle is not too strong or it could damage the coils. It is best to clean the coil from the inside out if possible. If you feel uncomfortable removing the top to clean for the inside out then cleaning from the outside in will be fine.
  3. Check for animal nests and inspect the wiring for damaged burnt chewed wires or connections. Repair any burnt or loose wire connections. Clean any animal nests out.
  4. Check the capacitor for swelling or damage. Have an extra capacitor on hand in case your capacitor goes out during the hot summer cooling season. We sell capacitors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the capacitors we sell. 
  5. Check the contactor to make sure that the contactor contacts are not burnt or pitted. If you need a contactor we sell contactors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the contactors that we sell. 
  6. Check the suction line insulation to make sure it is not torn or missing.
  7. Try to keep the condensing unit as level as possible.
  8. Test run your air conditioner early in the cooling season to make sure it is running right. The outside temperature should be above 70 degrees before testing.
  9. Kick start the condenser fan for the season. You might try turning the condenser fan (unit turned off, electricity off) with a long screwdriver to make sure the motor bearings are not tight from sitting all winter.  Many times I have seen condenser motors get destroyed if the motor bearings are locked up from sitting all winter.  Make sure the fan blade and bearings are free to spin before turning your unit on. We sell condenser fan motors on the following page if you need one. Please click here if you would like to see the air conditioner condenser fan motors that we sell.
  10. Take a temperature drop to see if the Air conditioner is cooling properly. Check the bare part of the suction line (large line) by feeling with your fingers to make sure cool gas is going back to keep the compressor running cool. If your suction line is not cold after running for at least 15 minutes then your system might be low on refrigerant charge and you would need to check the charge with gauges or call someone in to make sure your system is charged up properly.  From my experience (over 30 years) systems that are not charged up properly is the biggest cause for compressor burnout and failure. I would recommend that you check by feel monthly to make sure that cool gas (the suction line is cool/cold) to make sure that your unit is staying charged up properly.
  11. Clean evaporator coil drain line and make sure fittings are not loose or leaking.
  12. Make sure that your air filter is clean and change it regularly.
  13. Turn off the power to your furnace or air handler and make sure the blower wheel is clean.  Check the blower motor capacitor and make sure that it is in good condition.
  14. Turn the humidifier off and close your humidifier damper (if equipped)
  15. Make sure all your vents and returns are open and clear. Make sure that furniture or objects are not blocking the return of vents.
  16. It is a good idea to replace your thermostat batteries (if your thermostat has batteries).

I hope that you enjoy the video below that was made by Word of Advice TV! 
You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems with Answers, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Search Box Below:

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