Summer is finally here and with it, so is the heat! Sizzling temperatures are great for trips to the pool or picnics at the park, but no one wants to step inside their home after a long, hot summer day and find their thermostat running as high as mother nature. AC systems need annual maintenance to ensure they are in ship shape and ready to perform for the hottest season of the year.

Luckily, there are a few simple DIY steps you can take to ensure that your air conditioning is up to the task of keeping you and your loved ones cool this summer. Following these simple tips not only keeps your A/C running smoothly but will also prolong the life of your unit and help it run more efficiently.

And you know what that means? A cooling system that runs efficiently can often lead to savings on your energy bill. Think of all the extra ice cream cones you could buy! So, let’s dive in (to the DIY tips, not the pool), so you can keep your sweat at bay and have an A/C unit that works for you!

Burton’s DIY AC maintenance is simple! Just remember your ABCs.

A is for: Assess the area around your A/C.

The first step in your maintenance routine should be to assess the condition of your outdoor unit. Make sure there is no buildup of leaves, grass, nests, sticks, webs, or any other seasonal leftovers surrounding your A/C.

Debris like this piled up outside your unit can block airflow, making it nearly impossible for your system to work properly. If you find anything, simply collect it or brush it away to make for a fresh start.

B is for: Balance and Beware of loose wires.

Next, you want to make sure that your air conditioner is set up to be level. If your A/C is tilted, the oil and refrigerant might get trapped in tubing causing the compressor not to lubricate properly. Over time, this could cause the compressor to burn out completely, which is a pricey part to replace!

Using a basic level tool from the toolbox (or a level app on your smartphone!) check the balance of your unit and use brackets or shims to set it straight. Then, look at every angle of your A/C and check for any exposed or loose electrical wires. If you spot anything, don’t panic; however, it’s best to let a professional handle it.

C is for: Clean your coils!

This might be the most important DIY step—and the most fun. It’s vital to clean the coils of your A/C at the start of the summer season, and it’s easier to do than you would expect. Many outdoor units have metal hail guards that can be removed with any standard screwdriver. Once you’ve taken the guards off, you’ll want to spray your coils with your run-of-the-mill garden hose (no power washers, please). Simply rinse the debris off the coil from top to bottom and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with watching all the dirt and grime wash away! Replace the guards and voila!

Speaking of clean, head inside and make sure that your air filters are sparkling new; if not, replace them to ensure maximum airflow on the hottest days of the year.

Not sure if you’ve covered it all? Just call Burton!

There is no harm in calling in the experts to check your DIY work. We encourage our customers to have a professional do a routine maintenance inspection of their A/C unit every year to keep an eye out for major issues that might be hard to spot. Investing in your air conditioning system will save you money in the long run and give you peace of mind—as well as cold air when you want (and need) it most.