5 Simple steps to keep that A/C in working order

Home Inspector with Trace Inspections, LLC TN #17

Five Simple Steps for a Happy and Cool Summer!

Summer is upon us!  Today in Nashville TN, my A/C was on and it was not the first time this year! Just a few weeks ago we were in the mid 80's.  The following easy steps we help homeowners in preventing a few problems from occurring with their A/C system this summer.

•·          Inspect the filters - The first step in maintaining a well-functioning air conditioning system is to inspect the air filters.  These should be changed or cleaned at least twice a year.  Monthly maintenance is recommended if the system is in constant use or if the air is dusty and dirty. Replace that filter every month.  The best time is when you pay your electric bill!

 •·          Make sure the machine is properly lubricated - Over time, friction can increase within the machine.  Oil the motor and bearings twice a year.  Be sure to turn off all electricity to the unit when servicing.  NOTE:  I would not recommend this for the typical homeowner!  This job is best left for the professional HVAC contractor.

 •·          Inspect the fan belts - Check fan belts and pulleys for wear and proper tension.  This is located in the "blower" compartment.  Most newer systems do not have belts but rather a direct drive motor that is virtually maintenance free.  If you do have belts that need replacing, have a professional replace worn parts. 

 •·          Clean the outdoor condensing unit - Foreign objects and dirt can affect the performance of the machine.  Brush away or hose off any insects, dirt or other items on the outdoor condensing unit. 

 •·          Clean the drain line -Inspect the drain line to make sure there are not any problems with the termination.  If algae is present, wash the affected area with chlorine.   This will keep to keep the condensation water from overflowing and causing damage to your home.

 If you have a window air conditioning unit, check the window and sill for decay, inspect the unit for rusting and spot paint if any rust is present. 

I strongly recommend using a local company for yearly tune ups on your cooling and heating system.  Once in the late summer/early fall for the heating system and then in the spring time for the A/C.


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  1. Mike Schulz 05/13/2009 11:54 AM
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Mike Schulz
Affordable Home Inspections - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh NC Inspector


Mike Schulz www.houseinspections.com

(Clean the outdoor condensing unit) and keep shrubs cut back from the units for good air flow.

(Clean the drain line) also be sure the drain pipe is pitched towards the outside if it is gravity, if it has a pump it should be checked for operation and cleaning.

Good post for this time of year, better to service now then to have failure during the hot months.

May 12, 2009 09:49 AM #1
Richard Acree
HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC - Franklin, TN
Home Inspections - Nashville TN

Hello Scott,

Great post!  I especially like point #4, cleaning the outside unit.  This should be done every fall.  I just had mine done by an HVAC tech and he did a much better job than I could.  He actually dismantled the entire outer shell and got way into the cooling fins.  We could actually hear a difference in the sound of the unit after the cleaning.  Much less labor.  Great blog!

Thank You,

Richard Acree


Comments in this blog posting are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and contributing members of the Active Rain Real Estate network, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings.  HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more!  In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis.  Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at www.habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753. 

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors.  All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. 


Sep 26, 2009 01:52 PM #2
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Scott Patterson, ACI

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