Summer in Chicago can be brutal, which is why it’s crucial to have a well-functioning air conditioning system. While professional HVAC technicians are invaluable for complex issues, there are several DIY tasks that can help you maintain your system and catch minor problems before they escalate. Here are some tips to keep your home cool and comfortable:

1. Change the Air Filters Regularly

Clogged air filters not only reduce airflow but also force your system to work harder, leading to higher energy bills and potential breakdowns. Check your filter monthly and replace it every 3-6 months, depending on usage and manufacturer recommendations.

2. Clean the Outdoor Unit

Debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt, can accumulate around the outdoor unit, obstructing airflow and reducing efficiency. Gently remove any debris and trim back any vegetation within 2 feet of the unit.

3. Straighten Bent Fins

The fins on the outdoor unit’s condenser coil can become bent, reducing airflow and efficiency. Use a fin comb or a butter knife wrapped in a cloth to carefully straighten any bent fins.

4. Clear Drainage Holes

Clogged drainage holes can cause water to back up and damage your system. Use a thin wire or pipe cleaner to clear any obstructions in the drainage holes, ensuring proper water drainage.

5. Inspect and Clean the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil, located in your indoor unit, can accumulate dirt and dust over time, reducing efficiency. Turn off the power to the unit and carefully vacuum the coil with a soft brush attachment.

6. Check for Proper Insulation

Gaps or cracks in the insulation around your ductwork can lead to cool air escaping, making your system work harder and increasing energy costs. Inspect the insulation and seal any gaps with duct sealant or foil tape.

7. Consider a Smart Thermostat

Installing a programmable or smart thermostat can help you save energy and money by automatically adjusting the temperature when you’re away from home or asleep.

Remember, while DIY maintenance can help keep your HVAC system running smoothly, it’s essential to schedule professional maintenance and repairs as needed. Oasis Heating offers top-notch AC service, repair, and installation services in Chicago, ensuring your home stays comfortable all summer long.