Q:

What should you do to maintain your heating and air conditioning unit?

A:

Quick Answer

Regular maintenance tasks that homeowners should do include filter inspection and changing, condensation drain cleaning, outside unit inspection and cleaning and refrigerant line inspection. Additional regular maintenance items that may require a professional service, for safety reasons, on a seasonal basis include those for electrical, gas and refrigerant systems.

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Full Answer

Air filter maintenance should be done every 90 days. Homeowners can replace a clogged filter with the proper high-efficiency model. Condensation drains can become clogged and should be flushed with a bleach-and-water solution at least annually.

Outside units need proper airflow to breathe. At least two feet of clear space around the unit is necessary. Monthly cleaning of grass, leaves and debris that build up around the outside is generally recommended. Inside of the unit, the condenser and evaporator coils must be cleaned to maintain efficiency.

Homeowners can inspect the refrigerant lines for any leaks, but if a leak is detected, they should call for professional service because the refrigeration material is highly toxic. Typically most homeowners should also use a qualified professional to do preseason inspections of the electrical system and its components. This type of service should also include inspection and tightening of any fuel line connections, such as propane or natural gas

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