10 Things You Should Know About AC Maintenance

ac unit

Are you taking steps to get as much work-life as possible out of your HVAC system?

When it comes to air conditioning in Texas, it is a necessity and not a luxury. With those hot summer months creeping up quicker than some may like, we want to make sure your air conditioning unit is up to the task. 

AC maintenance is vital if you want to avoid being left in the sweltering heat or hit with the unexpected cost of replacing your HVAC system altogether. 

At Valderrama A/C & Refrigeration, we strongly recommend annual HVAC checkups to catch problems early on. Not only does this extend the work-life of your HVAC system, but it also prevents minor, inexpensive problems from becoming larger and more costly repairs. 

To help you keep your air conditioner running all summer long, we are sharing 10 things you should know about AC maintenance in Houston. 

10 Things You Should Know About AC Maintenance In Houston

Although some of these tasks require a professional HVAC technician, others are simple enough for even an HVAC amateur to cover on their own. As you read through this checklist, create calendar events for you to regularly maintain your HVAC unit.  

1. Keep Your Filters Clean

First of all, the most important task to maintain an HVAC system and keep it operating smoothly is keeping the filters clean.

If you are not consistently changing or cleaning your filters, you may be welcoming HVAC system trouble into your life. With use, filters become dirty from doing their job of catching dust, dirt, and dander from flowing through your ducts. Not only does this keep your breathing air cleaner, but it also cuts down on the amount of dust, dirt, and dander left to be cleaned from floors, countertops, and every other exposed surface in your home. 

If not cleaned properly or changed consistently, the dirty filters become clogged. This results in airflow being blocked and seriously lowering the AC’s efficiency – limiting the amount of cold air keeping you cool. It can also cause serious damage to your HVAC system and take years off its work life. 

Keep in mind, that not all filters are meant to be cleaned and reused. If this is something that interests you, make sure you are purchasing cleanable filters for your HVAC unit.

2. Dust Your AC Coils

Even when you’re dedicated to cleaning or changing your filters, it can be easy to forget about the AC coils. 

Even with clean filters, the evaporator coil can still collect dirt and dust over time. When this occurs, it reduces airflow and will coat the coil in thin insulation that will reduce its effectiveness in absorbing heat. 

If cleaning the AC coils seems like a task out of your wheelhouse, that’s okay! During your annual HVAC checkup, your Valderrama technician will check your evaporator coil and professionally clean it as necessary. Schedule your annual check-up today – (713) 804-7469.

3. Spray Down Your Outdoor Condenser Coils

Although it lives outside, your outdoor unit’s condenser coils also need cleaning every once in a while. Dirt and grass clippings from mowing the lawn will get up in the nooks of the coils. It’s pretty simple to check and see if you see any dirt accumulating on the unit. If allowed to build up over time, then this debris can drastically reduce your HVAC systems’ effectiveness. 

A light cleaning between annual professional maintenance checkups is advisable, but only if you’re safe about it. To start, shut off the power to the unit. There is usually a disconnect that you can easily unplug. Make sure power to the outdoor unit is shut off before taking any further steps. 

With the power to the outdoor unit off, lightly spray your hose from a few feet away. If the hose is too close, then the force of the spray could bend and damage the coil fins. Afterward, just plug it back in and the unit will dry itself out. 

Although this is a relatively simple task that some people choose to do themselves, do not attempt to shut the power off if you are not confident. Contact your family friends at Valderrama to have one of our expert technicians help you with your AC maintenance. 

4. Reshape Your Coil Fins If They Are Bent Out Of Shape

Regular use along with DIY cleaning can easily cause coil fins on your evaporator and condenser to bend. It’s critical to keep these fins from bending out of shape to prevent blockage and restricted airflow through the unit. 

If you notice your coil fins are bent, you can use a “fin comb” to position these fins back into their original placement. This maintenance task will keep your AC blowing cool air. Additionally, when your HVAC system is working properly, you can expect to get the most out of its work-life. 

5. Keep An Eye On Your HVAC’s Condensation Drain

While you’re checking your coils, go ahead and blow out your condensation drain line. When drain lines become clogged, moisture in the air increases. Moreover, in extreme conditions, this could cause water to leak on your floors and walls. 

Especially if gone unchecked for a long period of time, serious damage to your floors and walls can occur. 

If blowing out your drain line seems like a daunting task, don’t just ignore it. Call in your Valderrama technician to make sure your entire HVAC is up to the challenge of staying cool during the summer heat – (713) 804-7469. 

6. Check Freon & Refrigerant Levels

It is imperative for your HVAC’s functionality to have the correct levels of freon and refrigerant.

Low freon and refrigerant levels can result in frozen coils and intermittent cooling. If you’ve ever had an HVAC system freeze up, then you know that you then need to deal with dripping water when it eventually defrosts. 

Not only can this problem reduce your HVAC’s work life, but it can cause water damage to your home. 

During your annual HVAC checkups, your Valderrama technician will make sure you have the proper levels of fluids your HVAC requires. If these levels are too low, they will top it off to get your system running to keep you cool all summer long. 

7. Test For Refrigerant Leaks

If your refrigerant levels are low, chances are high that you have a leak!

Hunting down any leaks in your refrigerant lines is vital to keeping service calls to a minimum. If your leak is not tracked down, then you’re going to just keep calling in the professionals to fill it up.

If you think you may have a refrigerant leak, call your friends at Valderrama to fix the source of the problem. We help our clients by fixing the problems, not by slapping band-aids around for quick fixes. Our goal is for you not to have to call us again the following week for the same issue. The expert technicians at Valderrama A/C & Refrigeration are equipped with the tools and knowledge to properly detect leaks and fix them for good. 

8. Seal Any Duct Leaks To Keep The Air Flowing Properly

Duct leakage is a common problem, especially in older homes. When the HVAC system seems to be working properly but the cool air isn’t getting to the right places consistently, you may have a duct leak. 

It’s important to call in an expert technician to check for duct leaks and seal them properly. One of our expert technicians will crawl through your attic and visually inspect your air ducts for any leaks. 

Usually, fixing a duct leak is quick and will also dramatically increase the efficiency of your AC. Making sure your AC is working properly will give you the peace of mind to start enjoying summer!

9. Oil The Motors & Check The Belts

Just like you tune up the motor in your car, your HVAC’s motor also needs that love and care.

When Valderrama comes out for annual maintenance, they will oil the motors and check belts for any signs of wear to ensure proper tightness. While it’s not extremely common to have to change the belts, our experts still evaluate them. At the very least, you’ll have a good idea of how much work-life your HVAC system has left. 

10. Test The Accuracy Of Your Thermostat

Often overlooked, your thermostat could be the root of an easy-to-fix problem. 

Basically, you want to make sure the temperature read out of the thermostat is the same as the ambient temperature in the room. 

Valderrama’s expert technicians will be able to calibrate your thermostat to read out to match the actual temperature the HVAC is putting out. 

Read more about thermostat tips in our previous blog.

Call In Your Friendly Neighborhood AC Maintenance Experts Today

Don’t ride into the summer heat with your fingers crossed that your AC keeps working!

If you haven’t already, contact Valderrama A/C & Refrigeration to inspect your HVAC before the triple digits of Texas summer heat sets in. 

We’re a family business that treats each and every customer like a part of our own family. If you want your HVAC to last through the upcoming summer heatwave, give us a call to make sure everything is in tiptop shape.

We know HVAC emergencies don’t only happen between 9-5, so we’re available 24/7

Call Valderrama A/C and Refrigeration today!