Your Summer Air Conditioning Maintenance Guide

Once the summer arrives, your air conditioner works extra hard to keep everyone in your home nice and cool. All that work can bring on a lot of stress for your unit (yes, even our HVAC units get stressed). And when you don’t provide your unit with any maintenance or tune-ups, you make its job that much more difficult.

Eventually, your air conditioner will stop working efficiently and effectively, causing you to call a professional for a repair.

Avoid this by following a few simple tasks this summer.

Summer Air Conditioning Maintenace Guide


  1. Change your air filter. If you have a disposable filter, remove and replace it with a clean filter. If your filter is reusable, wash it according to the manufacturer’s directions and dry it completely before replacing.

  2. Inspect your registers and return air grilles. These vents should never be blocked or shut — that restricts airflow to your HVAC system, which can create efficiency issues. Also look around your home and move any carpets, rugs, and furniture away from your air vents.

  3. Check your outside unit. Move any tree branches, leaves, debris, or flowers away from your AC unit. Trim grass and weeds surrounding the system as well. You don’t want anything clogging your outdoor system and affecting its efficiency.

  4. Look at the drip pan. If your drip pan or condensate line become clogged with mold or algae, condensation from the cooling process won’t be able to exit your home. If it can’t leave your home, it will cause the system to malfunction, or water to back up inside, causing water damage.


  1. Check your air filter, again. During seasons of high cooling use, your system should be inspected every month to make sure everything is running smoothly. Besides, no one wants to not have AC in the middle of the summer, do they?!

  2. Clean your air conditioner coils. Dirty air conditioner coils can make your system slow down. So grab a hose and hose down your outdoor unit (be careful of any electrical wires!). And while you are at it, inspect the fins — they are delicate and can bend easily. If you do notice a bent fin, simply straighten them out using a “fin comb.”

  3. Inspect Wiring. Check the wires inside your unit for any signs of overheating or wear-and-tear. Don’t forget to turn the system off first before you begin! Call a professional if you notice any worn-out wires.


Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Where Can I Find My Air Filters?

Easy! For most central air conditioning units, your air filter will be connected to your duct system. Other locations include:

  • At the ceiling or floor return air grille for systems that use centralized air returns rather than room air-return ducts.

  • Inside the air handler, which is in your attic or your basement. There should be a slot at the top or bottom of the unit.

How To Tell If My Filter Needs To Be Replaced?

Always check every 30 days (roughly every month) just to be sure! Hold the filter to the light — if you can’t see any light pass through, that means it’s clogged and needs to be replaced. If light can pass through the filter, check your filter again in 15 days.

Can I Plant Near My Outdoor Unit?

We like to keep at least 2 feet minimum cleared around our outdoor unit. This minimizes the chances of any grass, leaves, or debris clogging the system.

Should I Schedule A Professional Maintenance Checkup?

If you haven’t already scheduled one in the spring or early summer, then yes! An HVAC technician will be able to inspect your unit more thoroughly and diagnose and fix any problems before they become major issues. Our licensed and insured technicians at Aqua Plumbing can help — call us today!

Call Aqua Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Today!

For nearly three decades, our expert team of HVAC technicians and plumbers in Skokie have provided the highest quality services. Available 24/7 to provide service, you can depend on us to come to your rescue whether you have an emergency or the time comes for a routine maintenance check. Check out our website to request a service.

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