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Steps to Keep your Cool On! – Homeowner Helper Tips

Frozen girl under a powerful air conditioner

Broken Down ACs are a drag!

There are a number of different air conditioning problems that can be considered annoying, such as broken compressors and leaky coils. And the worst part? Not only can repairs be expensive, but it’s usually your responsibility to take care of them yourself!

On a hot day, the guy cools with his head in the refrigerator. Broken air conditioner.

There is no doubt about it: air conditioner maintenance is not always pleasant or fun for anyone involved in the process…especially if it happens to break down during summer heat waves. When it comes time for repairing an air conditioning unit with issues, there will probably be some pretty unpleasant tasks on hand – cleaning up dirty condenser fans, replacing clogged filters, or even scrubbing out mold from inside the unit!

But don’t worry! Thanks to this here Homeowner Helper Tip to make this ordeal easier, you will be soon on your way to staying cool all summer.

Keep your drain line open.

Your air conditioner’s drain line is an important part of the system. It helps to remove condensation from the unit, which can prevent mold, mildew, and other problems. However, the drain line can also become clogged, which can prevent the unit from draining properly.

A clogged drain line can cause an AC to shut down. Vinegar is used as a disinfectant, which keeps the line free of debris and growth.

Vinegar and water solution: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket. Pour the solution into the drain line using a funnel. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes, then flush the line with water.

Checking for leaks in the system.

First, turn off the power to the unit, then check the major components of your home HVAC system. It’s best to start with a visual inspection. Use a flashlight to look for signs of water damage and mold growth on walls and ceilings.

Sometimes it is easy and all you have to do is look at the floor. If there’s a puddle of water on the ground, then that means it’s probably coming from your air conditioner and needs repair.

If you see something suspicious, the first thing to do is call a professional to inspect the system. A trained pro can spot issues much more easily than an untrained homeowner.

Air conditioners leaking coolant can cause the system to shut down, which is why most leaks are not detected. That’s why it’s important to check for leaks regularly and repair them when necessary. It might not be easy to detect, but if you spot anything strange the best bet is to call a pro.

Two Things To Do To Find A Leak

  1. Soap Test
    • To find a coolant leak in an air conditioning or heating system, use a soap bubble test.
    • The first thing you have to do is turn off the air conditioner. You should be able to find some soap in your kitchen and rub a bit of it onto the part of the AC unit where coolant leaks might be. Then power it back up and look for bubbles. If you see bubbles, unfortunately it is time to grab the phone and dial the professional.
  2. Oil Search
    • There is oil that will seep out of leaks. It is easy to discern and has a bit of a black goo look. You can wipe around components with a white cloth to see if you can find any potential leaks. If it looks like a bunch of this dark gunk, then you know the drill…yep make the call.

checking ac for filter

Changing/Cleaning air filters regularly.

Window units and Split units have small washable filters. You can clean your home air filters with a vacuum cleaner. I recommend using a canister vacuum, because it’s the best type for cleaning the different parts of an air filter.

One of the most important things to do when you start to clean your home is to find all of the air filters. These are usually in your furnace and air conditioner, along with vents.

Because of the air in your house circulating through the ducts, over time it can become full of dust, and for some of us cat hair. If you do not clean it out regularly, this will cause your heat pump to work harder to col. This shortens the lifespan of the equipment and can cause increases in your bill. We all want to keep our cash, right?!

Regularly cleaning or changing your air filters will also help reduce the duct dust. Emphasis on regular. Look up you manufacturers recommendations and then make a reminder on your calendar.

A good place to find the filters is in the kitchen or laundry room. They’re usually behind a panel on the wall but sometimes they can be under furniture and other times, they’re in the main body of the system in the attic or HVAC closet.

Use a dehumidifier.

Did you know using a dehumidifier helps keep your HVAC running? It’s true! It can help lower energy bills.

Dehumidifiers are vital for any home’s HVAC. But many homeowners take one look at it and put off the purchase thinking they’ll never need it. In reality, humidity is a major factor in your electric bills and buying a dehumidifier would be an investment that pays itself back in spades. It might not seem so necessary now, but every drop of savings helps!

When it is humid, people tend to run their AC at cooler temps, therefore putting undue stress on the system. With humid air harder to move through the filters and the system as a whole, you find the cost of a dehumidifier becomes an investment.


Please bookmark this page for future use.

With this Homeowner Helper Tip, you can prevent and diagnose a variety of AC problems without the need for expensive professional services. Please check my other Homeowner tips here. Here you will find tips and tricks for other home maintenance issues that may come up in your future!

And as always…

Here’s to successful homeownership, please share with your friends and family. And when they ask if you know of any great places to find a home in Austin and Central Texas, you tell them that…

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