AC Maintenance Tips

AC Recharge

Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Unit Running Throughout the Year

Being close to the ocean makes Corpus Christi a wonderful place. But the coastal climate can corrode metal parts and dirty the coils of your air conditioner or heat pump, on top of the normal maintenance air conditioners need.

Use these general and Corpus-Christi-specific tactics to extend your air conditioner’s lifespan and save on monthly electric bills.

Regular AC and HVAC Maintenance to Keep Things Running Smoothly

Running your Corpus Christi air conditioner year-round can wear on your system over time. Try these methods to maintain your AC and minimize the need for repairs.

  • Change the filter at least every 3 months. If the filters aren’t changed regularly, your AC or heat pump will overwork to push air through dirty filters. Changing your filter will keep your system running smoothly and maintain higher indoor air quality.

  • Clear debris from your outdoor unit. Sand, sticks, leaves, and other organic matter can all pile up outside your outdoor AC condenser unit. Once a month and after major storms, clear any debris piled up next to or on top of your condenser.

  • Empty condensate pans/clear drain lines. Outdoor air conditioner units and some ductless systems, like mini-split heat pumps, have a drain line to dump water collected in the unit. Once a month, make sure this drain line is clear of debris so things don’t back up. Window air conditioners collect water in a condensate pan. Check once a month to ensure that water is draining out of the pan correctly. This chore is taken care of during an annual tune-up, so feel free to skip it the month of your scheduled maintenance.

  • Seal leaks. Your AC system health isn’t all about the unit itself. Air conditioners can lose large amounts of cool air through small leaks in the air ducts or around window ACs. Check around your windows and doors, feeling for warm air leaking in; weather stripping can help keep it cool inside. Fill leaks you find around a window AC or heat pump with foam. Secure professional duct sealing if you suspect your ductwork is the problem.

How Often Should I Get My AC Serviced Professionally?

Schedule professional service in the spring and fall to keep your system running efficiently and catch any problems DIY checks can miss. Because various parts of your AC unit need professional care to run smoothly through the year, keeping a regular maintenance schedule will prevent your system from breaking down when you need it most.

Keeping Your AC Safe from the Weather

The windy tropical weather makes Corpus Christi appealing, but the sun and salty breeze cause extra wear and tear to your outside AC unit. An HVAC professional can help you with everything from choosing your next AC to maintaining the one you have, including:

  • Recommending an AC unit designed for coastal weather. The best air conditioner for salt air has a salt-resistant epoxy coating over the coils to prevent corrosion.

  • Applying coil protectant. Air conditioner pros can apply a coil protectant that shields your AC’s evaporator coils from salt and corrosion. These usually need to be reapplied every 3–5 years.

  • Washing the condenser coils of salt. When you are so close to the ocean, there’s no way to keep the salty air from settling on your AC. Regular cleaning keeps your air conditioner running more efficiently.

  • Regular maintenance inspections. In between washes, look over the coils for any early signs of rust or corrosion. If you notice signs of wear, contact the pros for AC repair to keep your unit running at its best.

  • Placing the unit just right. We’ll position any outdoor components away from harsh winds and direct sunlight. We also avoid positioning your unit directly under tree limbs that could crash down and damage the unit or drop leaves or needles that clog your system.

How Often Should You Clean Your Outside AC Unit?

Wash the inside of the unit every one to three months to prevent the salt from corroding the metal, or schedule professional maintenance to handle the delicate insides of your AC. Inspect your outdoor air conditioner after a large storm rolls through, clearing debris away from the outside to maintain airflow.

Should You Shade Your Outside AC Unit?

No. Shading your outside air conditioner does very little to increase energy efficiency. Your AC already has a cover to protect the inner workings from heat and debris. Additionally, crowding your AC with bushes or structures can reduce efficiency. The unit expels hot air and pulls in the fresh air, but when there’s little to no airflow around the unit, it pulls the same hot air back into the unit.

Should I Cover My AC Unit in the Summer?

No, this would not be effective and could damage your unit. While a cover would theoretically shade the unit from the sun, it would prevent it from adequately drawing in air. It could trap excessive moisture inside the unit, creating the perfect environment for mold growth.

Expert AC Maintenance in Corpus Christi

The Texas heat may boil, but you can still enjoy the day with a well-maintained air conditioner. If you need a hand keeping your system efficient or want to get on an annual maintenance schedule, the experts at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Corpus Christi can help. Simply call (361) 245-3945 or book online.