It’s incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable when your AC stops working in the middle of summer. Booking the best Tampa air conditioner contractor for preventative AC maintenance this spring may help you avoid a summertime breakdown.
The AC maintenance list below details what you should do as a homeowner and what should be left to the technician.
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Replace the filters
Change your AC filters every 60 to 90 days, or as recommended by the manufacturer. It’s also a good idea to check the filter’s cleanliness at least once a month so you can change it sooner than recommended if needed.
In addition to the air return filter, you’ll need to maintain the HVAC system filter. You’ll find this filter in the indoor unit, likely in your basement, attic, or closet. The air handler filter should also be changed every 60 to 90 days or as needed based on lifestyle.
Many Tampa air conditioner contractors will change the filters during their seasonal inspections, but you should change the filters in between those service calls.
As leaves drop in the fall and the wind blows in the winter, your AC condenser (outdoor unit) may fill with debris. It’s a good idea to clean it out before summer.
Turn off power to your condenser at your electrical box. Remove the condenser’s top cover – you may need a screwdriver to do this. Check your manual for instructions if necessary.
Clean out any leaves, rocks, grass, or other debris inside. Remove overgrown brush or trim back bushes around the unit. Debris like this can block the air circulation of the unit, causing your HVAC system to work harder than necessary.
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, your Tampa air conditioner contractor will handle it as part of your AC maintenance.
Clean the fins
Use foaming AC coil cleaner to clean the fins of the condenser once you’ve removed the debris. The cleaner should be available at your local hardware store. While we’re not brand-specific, it is important to get a foaming spray. The foaming agent is what works to loosen the dust and first from the coils.
Spray the coil cleaner all over the fins from the inside of your condenser. Let the coil cleaner sit for about 10 minutes.
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After you’ve let the coil cleaner do its job, use a garden hose to spray the cleaner and dirt out from the inside. Do not use a power washer or high-pressure hose for this job. Intense water pressure will damage the fins.
Again, most air conditioner contractors in Tampa include this in their regular AC maintenance service.
Check the lines
There are several tubes connected to your AC condenser. These include the suction line, the discharge line, and the evaporator line. Foam insulation covers some of them.
Check the lines for any visible damage. If the foam insulation is degrading or falling off, replace it. You can purchase pipe insulation on Amazon or at a hardware store.
If you choose to have a Tampa air conditioner contractor professionally check your system, they will replace this insulation if needed.
A professional air conditioner contractor will also clean your condenser’s drain line and drain pan. If the AC drain line or drip pan becomes clogged or overly filled, the system could stop working completely.
Check the refrigerant
Refrigerant is necessary to keep your Tampa home cool in the summer. However, checking and replacing the AC refrigerant is not a DIY job. Air conditioner contractors need a special license to handle refrigerants.
The technician will check the charge of your AC refrigerant during routine AC maintenance inspections. If an AC leak is detected, the contractor will need to recharge the system.
The best Tampa AC technicians will not suggest refrigerant refill as a stand-alone service. They will need to identify and repair the leak.
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Clean the air handler
The air handler of your HVAC system is the indoor unit. It’s likely in your attic or basement. This component helps cool air circulate through your home.
The primary upkeep with the air handler is to change the filter as needed and wipe out any dirt or dust that may accumulate in the cabinet. The AC contractor will also perform this task.
You’ll need to remove the cover, which may require a screwdriver, based on your model. Wipe down the cabinet’s interior with a household cleaner and a rag.
A full AC maintenance appointment will include cleaning the air handler’s coil. The tech will also clean the drain pan and condensate drain, which are especially prone to mold and mildew in Tampa.
Since Florida is so damp, some air conditioner contractors in Tampa use special mold-repelling products. These products keep mold from forming in your system.
Check the vents
Make sure all the vents in your home are unobstructed. Remove furniture, decor, or household clutter that may be covering the air vents. Open the louvers to ensure good airflow.
Once every four to six weeks, remove your vent covers and vacuum inside with a hose attachment. Cleaning will help reduce dust and allergens in your home.
Additionally, if you haven’t had your ductwork cleaned recently, you may consider hiring a duct cleaning service for a full checkup. Duct cleaning in Tampa is not typically included in a seasonal AC maintenance call.
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You can DIY some aspects of your annual AC maintenance but not others. Since most air conditioner contractors offer springtime deals on this service, we recommend taking advantage.
Tampa HVAC technicians are experienced pros. They can readily recognize small issues with your system to help prevent an AC breakdown come summer.