Spend less on cooling your home by following these tips. For do-it-yourself projects, don’t forget to unplug your unit before beginning.

  • To check, clean or change air filters

Air filters remove dust, allergens, and particles from the air and dirty air filters can increase the energy costs. Remove permanent filters and clean with a mild house detergent and water. Make sure to rinse well and dry completely before reinserting. All disposable filters should be replaced.

  • For clearing grass, debris, and weeds from outside units (Except room units)

When air can move freely through the coils, units use less electricity. When mowing, make sure to aim grass clippings away. Remove debris and trim foliage around the unit by at least two feet.

  • To check your ductwork for central air and heat pumps

Air conditioners works harder and longer to replace cooled air that leaks before reaching the room. For disconnected ducts, leaks or poor insulation use mastic sealant or metal tape (never duct tape) to seal the ducts within reach. Straighten kinked or tangled ducts, or higher a professional.

  • To keep registers and vents clean for central air and heat pumps

Free air circulation puts cool air where you want it. Check to make sure that nothing, including pets, is blocking or sitting on the registers.

  • To clean condenser coils for all outside units except room units

Your air conditioner works harder with even a thin film of dirt and inhibits air movement through the coils. Shut off the power to the unit and gently wash down the unit with a garden hose.

  • To straighten condenser coil fins for all except room units

You can improve the efficiency of your unit by keeping straight, clean fins which allow the air to move freely through the coils. You can get a “fin comb” from an air conditioner dealer. Make sure to carefully comb fins on outside and indoor coils.

  • To clean inside coils for central air and heat pump

You can reduce the unit’s electricity use by keeping the coils clean inside and out. Dirt can prevent the coils from collecting heat. Use a vacuum to gently clean the coils. Be careful not to damage the coil fins.

  • To unclog drain ports for central air and heat pump

You can control humidity and prevent damage from water leaks by making sure drain ports do not become clogged. Clean the ports with a pocketknife or a short piece of wire hanger.

  • To inspect window seals for all room units

Use less energy and improve comfort by keeping the hot air out and the cool air in. Check to make sure that the window frame makes contact with the unit’s metal case.

  • Choose a proper location for all room units

When fans are in direct sunlight, this makes it more difficult to cool the outside coil. Move the unit and make sure this area is shaded or is not in direct sunlight.

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