Air conditioning is a vital component of the modern home. It helps ensure a home’s inhabitants feel comfortable in hot weather and helps keep indoor temperatures at a safe equilibrium. Here are five tips for maintaining your air conditioner.

1. Hire a Professional

Air conditioners can be as simple as basic window units, as complicated as central AC systems and anything in between. Depending on the complexity of your unit, the issue you’re experiencing with it and your technical capabilities, you may want to consider hiring an air conditioning contractor. The contractor will know how to figure out the problem and what ways it can be fixed, which will generally be a much faster and safer process than it would be if you were working on your own.

2. Understand the Type of Unit You Have

There are many different types of air conditioning units and systems. You should do your research when you install an air conditioning system or move into a new home and learn about the type of unit you’ll be working with. You can learn about most air conditioning systems online, including how to maintain them, common issues and when you can fix or replace a component yourself and when to call a professional.

3. Learn To Troubleshoot Issues And Upkeep

Keep your owner’s manual on hand, as well as bookmarked web pages related to your air conditioning system. These tools can help you independently troubleshoot issues you notice with your system and perform basic maintenance. If you’re uncomfortable attempting to fix part of your air conditioning system on your own and would prefer to wait for a professional technician, you can still use these tools to determine the problem and give the technician more information when he or she arrives.

4. Clean It Regularly

All air conditioners have filters in them to help keep the air circulating in your home clean. As a result, you’ll need to regularly clean or replace the filter. You may also need to manually clean other components of the system, such as an outdoor part of the unit, the condensate drain tube, the fins and any fans. Learn what parts of the system are most fragile and how to handle and clean them carefully to avoid breaking them. Always review the owner’s manual when you prepare to clean your air conditioning system. You can use various tools including the soft bristle attachment of a vacuum, soft plastic bristle brushes and gentle foam cleansers.

5. Inspect It Seasonally

You should inspect your air conditioning system in late winter or early spring every year to ensure everything is in working order before you begin using it regularly. If you have an outdoor unit, you should make sure you clear the area around it of any vegetation growth or debris. For internal systems, check each part and see if anything needs to be fixed or replaced.

There are some things you can do to maintain your air conditioning unit on your own, while others will require the services of a professional contractor with air conditioning maintenance experience. These tasks will differ depending on the type of air conditioning unit you have.