February 23, 2017


There are articles all over the Internet about AC maintenance and the importance of a good annual tune-up. They’re full of confusing technical jargon and often don’t tell a Tampa homeowner anything particularly useful.

These articles, in general, are right: it’s important to have a professional technician come out at leastonce a year to inspect and clean your system. But in the absence of an AC company contractor at your home, there are still some things you can do to keep your central air conditioner in peak running condition.

First: keep your outdoor unit free of plant growth and other obstructions. While outdoor units are designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor living, they’re not infallible. It’s important to keep an eye on bushes, grass, weeds, trees, and any other vegetation that might crowd the unit, and keep them carefully trimmed back. A good minimum distance is two feet or so. It’s also a good idea to grab a broom and sweep the perimeter and the base of the unit every so often.

Second: keep your air filters clean and fresh at all times. Your interior system involves several air filters designed to keep the air that your AC is circulating uncontaminated.

If you fail to keep those filters clean, you will quickly see a precipitous drop in the ability of your central air conditioner to cool your home, and may even see it stop working entirely if air flow is obstructed to the point where it builds up inside the system and causes things to freeze or overwork.

Third: by the same token, clean your indoor return grills. The air ducts that carry air into your system are covered by grills that are designed – like air filters – to keep dust, debris, animal hair, and all sorts of unpleasant buildup from getting through. Keep these clean.

It is pretty simple to shut your system off (at the breaker), remove those with a screwdriver or by pressing on the clips that hold many grills in place, and clean them with a soapy cloth. The important thing is to dry them thoroughly to prevent moisture buildup. Many AC company technicians will recommend the use of a hair dryer or hand towel for this purpose.

Fourth: Raise the temperature one degree – or invest in a programmable thermostat. The simple act of raising the thermostat a degree can reduce your cooling costs up to 10% without sacrificing your own comfort, and programmable thermostats allow your system to work with your schedule.

See? AC maintenance isn’t nearly as hard as you thought. Now, for anything more complicated than what we’ve discussed in this article, you should call a professional. Tampa HVAC systems are large, complex, and can be hazardous if you don’t know what you’re doing, so be careful!

If you need AC maintenance or repair for your home, call our nationally recognized and award-winning team today at 813-701-3430 today and save $35!