HVAC systems provide relief from the summertime heat. They also help to remove humidity from the air inside of your home. These systems require regular maintenance in order to perform at their top level of efficiency. Follow these steps to care for your HVAC system, and enjoy comfort all summer long.

Replace the Air Filter

The interior air blower of an air conditioning unit has an air filter. Most filters are disposable and made of a cardboard frame and a fiberglass or similar insert. Slide the air filter out about once per month to check its cleanliness. When it is visibly dirty, replace it with a new one. Choose the correct size and the unit with the highest minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) for the optimal trapping of particles.

Clean the Condensate Pipe and Drain Pan

The condensate pipe leads from the condenser unit to a drain. It is usually made from PVC. Over time, it builds up a layer of muck, algae, and mold. This material could obstruct the drain and damage the air conditioner. Turn off the air conditioner and unscrew the pipe. Pour diluted bleach into the pipe to disinfect it. Do this once or twice per summer. Reconnect the pipe. The drain pan collects the water and diverts it to the pipe. Slide out the drain pan and bleach it, too.

Wash the Coil and Fan Blades

Outside of your home is the central air conditioner's compressor. Some companies, like HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, know that the compressor has a metal housing that can accumulate dirt and dust. The grime decreases the unit's efficiency. Use a garden hose to wash the metal housing. Inside the compressor is the metal fan that turns during a cooling cycle. The fan blades should also be hosed off in order to remove dirt.

Schedule an Annual Tune-Up

It is also important to schedule an annual tune-up for your HVAC system. A technician can check the system's electronics, rubber hosing and gaskets. The coolant and lubricant levels can also be checked. Pressure levels will be calculated in order to detect leaks and system performance.

If you notice a strange sound, constant cycling or warm air blowing from the air conditioner, it could have a problem. While regular maintenance helps to prevent HVAC breakdowns, it is possible for the unit to malfunction. Prompt repairs of the air conditioner could prevent a total breakdown. Be sure to have the contact information of a reputable HVAC service company in case your air conditioner malfunctions.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700