Getting your home A/C prepared for the summer

Three ways to extend the life of your A/C unit
Posted at 5:00 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 17:00:29-04

Repairing or replacing a home air conditioning unit could cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. But there are ways you can get your AC ready for Florida's summer by giving it a couple tune ups on your own.

James Thornsberry, air conditioning technician with The Comfort Authority in Tampa, says there are a few things you can do to prepare. You can start with cutting the shrubbery and bushes in the area near your unit.

"We want at least 12 inches or so away from the equipment," said Thornsberry. "It is absolutely OK to take a water hose to the coils." 

Make sure you don't use a pressure washer though.

"I would just hit it with a garden hose and clean all the dirt out of it. Kind of like taking the sweater off of it so that it can transfer heat properly," said Thornsberry.

Home owners want to also make sure that they clean under the unit,Thornsberry told us. This will ensure that rain water can drain away from it.

Another thing you want to check, your condensate drop line that can be found outside of every home.

"Most of us are familiar with a wet/dry vac. You just hook it to that for about 30 seconds to a minute. While you are doing that, walk inside to listen to make sure you can hear the suction coming through and you should be good to go," said Thornsberry.

Finally, make sure you change your filter.

"The rule of thumb is changing it out every one to three months. Every home is going to be a little bit different based on the number of people in the house, number of pets," said Thornsberry.

That tip goes for people who live in apartments and condos as well. 

Here's some bonus information for you. If you have a room in your house that seems warmer than the others? Don't ignore that!

"It might have nothing to do with the air conditioning and might have to do with the insulation, it could be something as simple as a crushed duct," said Thornsberry. "It could be something not sized properly, but something like that you will have to get a pro to come out and look at it."