How To: Give Your Air Conditioner a Check Up

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The summer heat’s at our doorsteps and we’re guessing most of you are crankin’ up your AC more than usual for the first time in a few months. Unfortunately, like all appliances, they tend to decrease in efficiency over time unless you give it a check up every once in a while. So, here are a few tips to help get your ol’ AC unit in tip-top shape in preparation for these incoming heat waves…

Lots of things can cause an AC unit to lose efficiency over a few years; worn fan belts, bent cooling fins, and damaged insulation on the coolant line can all contribute to this loss. has a few tips for us to get started on a thorough check up:

  • Be sure the suction or cool line from the condenser to the compressor is insulated with snap-on urethane or other high R-value insulation.

  • Straighten all of the evaporator and condenser coil fins with a small pointed stick or a special plastic fin comb. Bent fins do not allow proper air distribution.

  • If the condenser is at ground level, be sure no vegetation or foreign material is restricting the air flow path. If possible, shade the condenser with trees or bushes, which will improve the cooling efficiency by elimination of direct sunshine.

Of course, this requires a little bit of know-how in regards to parts of an AC unit. If you’re not too familiar, bust out that dusty manual you have tucked away in your upstairs cabinet drawer and look for the “maintenance” section. It might take a while, but in the end, you’ll pat yourself on the back for having lower energy consumption this summer, and thus, a little extra cash on the side for vacation spending!

(Image: inkysquid)