May 25, 2019

AC tune-up makes Dad’s Day extra cool

Everybody knows one of dad’s greatest loves is controlling the thermostat.

So what better Father’s Day present for the man who has everything than the gift of better summertime climate control?

Nearly 90 percent of new homes come equipped with central air (nearly 100 percent down South). Give the gift of a professional air conditioning service check!

While he or she is at it, ask the technician for a comparison between your existing system’s current and future operating expenses and a new high-efficiency unit.

A good contractor will educate the homeowner on the health of the system and help them make an informed decision whether ongoing maintenance and repair is justifiable, or just throwing good money after bad.

But hey, a lot of dads will give you heck for spending money on something you could do yourself!

For DIY dad, throw “tune up the AC” into one of those coupon books with “clean the gutters,” “mow the lawn,” and “clean the garage.” It’s the best present he’ll get all year!

Note: Before doing any type of maintenance, first make sure to switch the AC off at the power box and the outdoor circuit box near the unit.

Here’s a few things you can do to potentially extend an AC unit’s useful life and/or ward off repair or replacement for another season or two.

• Remove debris: By hand or with a wet/dry vac, clean on and around unit.

• Clean fins: Remove the outer cover and use a vac to remove outside dirt, then a gentle stream of water for build-up.

• Straighten Fins: If you don’t have a “straightening tool,” try a butter knife. Be gentle.

• Clean evaporator coil: It’s behind a door marked “evaporator coil.” Use a soft brush. Empty and clean drain pan.

• Unplug evaporator drain: The exterior drainage tube can become blocked.

• Change the filter: It’s usually located in your furnace. You may need a screwdriver.

No matter how much DIY maintenance you do, it’s advisable to spring for occasional professional maintenance. A trained technician can recognize trouble spots, predict breakdowns and save you money over the long term.