We use our AC systems here in SWFL pretty much year round, making them an indispensable ally in maintaining a comfortable home environment. If you want optimal performance and energy efficiency, regular maintenance is essential and so is an annual professional or DIY AC tune up. While some tasks can be tackled with a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach, there are certain aspects of AC maintenance best left to the professionals. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key steps for a DIY AC tune-up, share some valuable tips, and ultimately discuss why hiring experts might be in your best interest.

DIY AC Tune-Up: Step by Step

If you’re wondering what all annual AC tune-ups should entail, here’s a list of in-depth maintenance that should be done. Some of these tasks should be done more often, such as air filter replacements.

1. Inspect and Clean Air Filters:

  • Begin by turning off the power to the AC unit.
  • Locate the air filters, typically located near the blower unit.
  • Remove and inspect the filters for dirt and debris.
  • Clean or replace the dirty filter if necessary.

2. Clean the Condenser Coils:

  • Turn off the power to the AC unit.
  • Remove debris around the outdoor unit.
  • Gently clean the condenser coils using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner.
  • Trim foliage around the unit to ensure proper airflow.

3. Check and Straighten Coil Fins:

  • Inspect the coil fins for any bending or damage.
  • Use a fin comb to straighten bent fins carefully.

4. Inspect the Thermostat:

  • Ensure the thermostat is functioning correctly.
  • Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat for energy savings.

5. Examine Ductwork for Leaks:

  • Inspect the ductwork for any visible leaks.
  • Seal any gaps or holes with foil tape.

6. Evaluate Refrigerant Levels:

  • Check the refrigerant levels to ensure they are within the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Consult the user manual or hire a professional for refrigerant adjustments.

7. Lubricate Moving Parts:

  • Lubricate the moving parts of the blower motor and other components as recommended by the manufacturer.

8. Inspect Electrical Connections:

  • Turn off power to the unit.
  • Inspect electrical connections for signs of wear or corrosion.
  • Tighten any loose connections.

Tips for a Successful DIY Tune-Up

  • Regularity is Key: Perform these tasks at least once a year, preferably before the start of the cooling season.
  • Safety First: Always turn off the power to your AC unit before conducting any maintenance.
  • Attention to Detail: Take your time inspecting and cleaning each component thoroughly.
  • Refer to the Manual: Consult your AC unit’s user manual for specific maintenance guidelines.

Why Hire the Experts?

While a DIY tune-up can address some routine maintenance tasks, there are aspects of AC maintenance that require professional expertise. Hiring experts offers the following advantages:

1. Thorough Inspection:

A professional HVAC technician can identify potential issues that may go unnoticed during a DIY inspection.


2. Corrective Measures:

Experts can both spot potential problems easily, as well as perform complex tasks such as refrigerant adjustments, electrical repairs, and intricate component replacements.

3. Efficiency and Longevity:

Professional maintenance ensures your AC unit operates at peak efficiency, extending its lifespan and reducing energy consumption and energy costs.

4. Warranty Compliance:

Some manufacturers require professional maintenance for warranty validity.

5. Safety:

Your HVAC unit has many electrical components carrying high voltage electricity to run the central air conditioning. It’s a good idea to leave any electrical maintenance repair and installation of replacement parts to an HVAC specialist who is licensed and trained.

An annual tune-up for your AC is essential to keep your cooling system in good shape, but it’s crucial to recognize the limitations of a home-based approach. For a comprehensive and worry-free maintenance experience, consider hiring the professionals at Dolphine Cooling, who possess the skills and knowledge to keep your AC unit running smoothly for years to come. By combining DIY efforts, like dirty air filter replacements, with professional expertise, you can enjoy a cool and comfortable home throughout the sweltering summer months.

Our HVAC professionals offer the professional help you need along with excellent customer service to make your regular AC maintenance, repair, and any other additional services surprisingly pleasant. Keep your AC unit running efficiently all year long, especially in the mid-summer heat! Contact Dolphin Cooling today for HVAC tune-ups and more!