DIY Tips to Keep Your HVAC System in Tip-Top Shape

Real Estate Broker/Owner with EQUITY ASSETS REAL ESTATE BRE License # 01412695

When the California summer gets too hot, one of the best things to do is to stay inside your Clovis CA home and enjoy the feel of the cool wind from you AC while sipping a cold glass of refreshing drink. A working HVAC brings many benefits, especially here in Clovis, when the temperature climbs up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months.

If you plan to put your Clovis CA home up for sale, including a properly working HVAC is important and can even boost your list price. To ensure your HVAC is in its best form, you need to have it checked by professionals. Between checks, here are some things you can do maintain its good condition.

DIY Tips to Keep Your HVAC System in Tip-Top Shape

Your HVAC system is what keeps you cool in the spring and summer months and warm in the fall and winter.

You might not know what in the world it stands for – heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, in case you were wondering – but you can certainly take steps on your own to keep it in good working order. While repairs should be left to the pros, there are several things you can do to avoid a visit from the pros altogether.

Clean and Replace Your Air Filter

Whether you are a new homeowner or a seasoned pro, it’s not uncommon to forget to check and replace the air filter or not realize you need to do it in the first place. However, air filters have an important job to do, and they need to be able to do it well. When you raise or lower the temperature in your home, your HVAC unit pulls air in over the coils to cool or heat it and then blows it back out. When air is pulled in, it passes through your air filter, which traps dust, dirt, and allergens to prevent them from clogging your system and dispersing throughout your home.

A good rule of thumb is to change your filter every three months, but you may want to shorten this if you have pets or kids, or you notice the air not blowing out properly. Changing your filter is easy, but it is very important that you have the correct filter size so that air flows through it properly rather than squeezing through cracks around it. For a quick tutorial on how to change your air filter, check out this guide courtesy of

Give Your Outdoor Unit Some TLC

If you have an outdoor unit, it is exposed to the elements and can become quite dirty, which can reduce its efficiency, leading to higher energy consumption and HVAC bills. To clean your unit, start by removing the filter. Wash it if it is reusable or replace it altogether. Before you begin cleaning the unit, make sure to turn the power off by flipping the breaker. Using a screwdriver, remove the top panel so that you can access the coils and fan blades inside. There are two coils that are responsible for the efficiency or your unit: the evaporator coil and the condenser coil.

According to Arista, the importance of a clean coil can be summed up with this one statistic: “If 1/100th of an inch of dirt and grime accumulates on your air conditioner’s condenser coil, efficiency will decline by 5-percent.” Dust, dirt, and debris can easily accumulate on your coils, making your system work harder than it should. Use a shop vacuum to remove the built-up debris, and wipe the fan blades with a wet rag. If you notice the fins on the condenser coils are bent, use a fin comb to straighten the blades. You can purchase a fin comb via air conditioner wholesalers, as well as online or at your local hardware store.

When to Call the Pros

DIY HVAC maintenance is a great way to save money and avoid having to call in a professional, but there are some instances where bringing in a pro is the right call. To put it simply, anything other than cleaning and very basic maintenance requires a professional’s touch. The following are common problems that are out of your scope:

● Indoor fan or outdoor unit that runs nonstop
● Outdoor unit making rattling, hissing, or otherwise loud noise beyond the norm
● Water leaks
● Failure to heat or cool your home properly

However, professionals are handy for more than just when problems arise. A yearly visit from your local HVAC pro can ensure that your refrigerant is at the appropriate level, leaks aren’t present, the wiring is correct, and the unit is working efficiently.

Your entire home requires regular maintenance, and your HVAC system is included. Check and replace your filters and clean your outdoor unit regularly for a system that meets your needs and expectations. However, when in doubt, call a professional!


This is a guest post written by Ray Flynn, a civil engineer and co-creator along with Bret Engle of DIYGuys dot net.

Keeping your HVAC in top form will give you better comfort and enjoyment. If you’re thinking of listing your home in Clovis CA, buyers will appreciate having a working HVAC.

Interested in knowing more tips on how to sell your Clovis CA home successfully?

Call me, Jason Nenadov, at 559-256-8991. As the top Realtor® in Clovis CA, I look forward to helping you market your property so it can sell fast and at its best price.


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Robert Sole
REM Inspections LLC - Winter Springs, FL

One comment on the filters for the air conditioner.  In some cases you will not be able to find a filter in the home improvement store to properly fit your unit.  Some manufacturers have started making the filter an odd size and those that are readily available do not properly fit the unit.  If the filter you buy in the store has a lot of space around it, the dirt will simply bypass the filter and collect on the cooling coil.  This will result in reduced efficiency of the system. 

If you can not find a filter that fits properly, you may need to go to an air conditioning contractor to purchase one.  Once you find the correct size, you may be able to get a good deal online.

Aug 04, 2018 11:53 AM #1
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jason, great DIY tips for homeowners, and definitely have seen some absolutely filthy air filters over the years at inspections! 

Aug 04, 2018 12:39 PM #2
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