A/C Maintenance Checklist

Just like your car, your central air conditioning needs periodic tune-ups. This ensures that your system runs at peak performance and that you pay a lower energy bill each month.

Just like your car, your central air conditioning needs periodic tune-ups. This ensures that your system runs at peak performance and that you pay a lower energy bill each month. Considering the fact that about 50% of your energy costs go to heating and cooling your home, proper maintenance can save you hundreds of dollars every year and reduce breakdowns by up to 95%.



1. Schedule Professional A/C Service from Hiller

A professional air conditioning tune-up will accomplish the things that you can’t easily do as a homeowner, such as lubricating moving parts, cleaning and clearing the condensate drain line, tightening electrical connections, checking the refrigerant level, and more.

We recommend that you schedule your professional furnace tune-up in the fall and an air conditioning tune-up in spring. Some benefits of annual HVAC tune-ups include:

  • Reduced breakdowns
  • Improved indoor air quality and comfort
  • Lower energy bills
  • Valid manufacturer warranties

Schedule your annual A/C service online or sign up for our Hiller Maintenance Plan to ensure these tune-ups occur every year.

2. Change Your Air Filter Regularly

You can also keep your air conditioner running at peak performance by checking your filter every month and replacing or cleaning your filter every 30-90 days. To determine if your filter needs to be cleaned or replaced, hold the filter up to the light. If no light passes through, it’s time for a replacement or cleaning!

To stay on top of this task, set a calendar or phone reminder and write the date of replacement on the filter so you always know when it was last changed. Failing to change your air filter can cause your air conditioner to shut off. Without proper airflow, your HVAC system will not work properly. Some newer systems will automatically shut down if the air filter becomes too clogged.  Changing your air filter is a simple thing you can do to ensure your A/C is running properly between service appointments.

Watch this video to learn how to replace your HVAC filter:

Watch this video to learn how to clean your HVAC filter:

Learn how to choose the right air filter for your home:

3. Clean the Outdoor Condenser Unit

Just like your gutters, your outdoor A/C condenser unit accumulates debris. Before you start your cooling system for the warmer months, take a look at your outdoor unit and remove any twigs and other debris that has gathered around it.

In addition to physically removing the large pieces of debris, you can give the unit a more thorough cleaning with your garden hose:

  • Turn off the air conditioner’s power source. You can usually find the power shut-off box near the unit itself. If you can’t find the power box, turn off the unit from the breaker box.
  • Trim away shrubs and other plant life around your unit. There should be a minimum 24-inch clearance around the entire unit to allow for proper airflow.
  • Use your shop vac or heavy-duty vacuum cleaner to remove grass clippings and other smaller pieces of debris.
  • Use your regular garden hose to wash away the remaining dirt and debris.
  • Inspect your condenser fins for damage. If your fins are bent in large areas, call your HVAC contractor, but if the damage is minimal, you can straighten them out yourself with a fin comb.

If you want a more thorough cleaning, however, you will want to wash the condenser unit from the inside out. This involves removing the top of the unit and its fan assembly. While you could do this process yourself, calling a trained HVAC technician at Hiller can help you clean your unit without getting your own hands dirty. 

4. Inspect Insulation Levels & Seal Air Leaks

The longer you have insulation the more it packs down over time leading to a less energy-efficient home. In addition to checking your insulation levels, sealing any leaks and cracks can keep air from escaping and keep energy costs down.

How to Find and Seal Air Leaks:

To find out if you have air leaks around your home, use a thin piece of toilet paper or lit incense stick and hold it up to areas where you suspect a leak. If the paper or smoke begins to move erratically, you know there is air movement in the area and air sealing is needed. Be sure to use our home, use weatherproof caulk for any leaks smaller than ¼ inch and, expandable foam spray for any gaps larger than ¼ inch.

How to Inspect Insulation:

To inspect your insulation levels, go into your attic with a measuring stick and check to see if your insulation is above or below 10 inches. If you have less than 11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool insulation or less than 8 inches of cellulose insulation, you should probably add more. Adding insulation to your attic and attic door isn’t hard to do and is one of the best ways to improve comfort and energy efficiency in your home.

If you are replacing your attic insulation, consider using a higher R-value insulation, such as spray foam. The R-value measures the insulation’s thermal resistance, so the higher the R-value the better the insulation, requiring less material.

If you have already inspected and improved your attic insulation, but your home is still drafty and uncomfortable, you may need to contact a professional contractor to install insulation in your walls.

This ENERGY STAR guide will help you find the recommended insulation level for your geographic zone.

5. Upgrade Your Thermostat and Learn How to Use It

If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider upgrading to one. Having a programmable thermostat can help keep your home at a stable temperature, track your energy usage, and even save you money.

But installing a programmable thermostat isn’t enough. You actually have to strategically program it to get the benefits from it. When you at home, consider programming the thermostat to about 78°F (26°C) and about 10° higher when you are away. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save about 1% on your cooling costs for each degree set above 78°F if the period is 8-hours long.

If you’re having difficulty installing your thermostat, and we don’t blame you, call your local HVAC contractor to complete the thermostat installation for you.

When choosing the placement for your thermostat, avoid inaccurate readings by making sure your thermostat is away from direct heat sources, windows, vents, and not too far from the center of the house.

Let Hiller Handle Your Annual A/C Maintenance

While many of these air conditioning maintenance tips can be done without the help of a trained professional, it’s highly recommended that you seek the help of an experienced HVAC technician to complete any sort of servicing or cleaning tasks for your A/C unit. Damaging your unit while trying to service it can lead to costly repairs. Instead, trust the professionals at Hiller to not only service your unit, but also advise you on other energy efficiency measures you can take advantage of in your home. Schedule your annual A/C service with Hiller over the phone or online today!

Want to skip scheduling an appointment every year? Signup for the Happy Hiller Club, and receive the following services for your home:

  • Precision A/C Tune-Up
  • Precision Electrical Tune-Up
  • Precision Plumbing Tune-Up
  • Precision Heating Tune-Up

Priceless Peace of Mind, $16 a Month

Join the Happy Hiller Club and get all the perks of membership: Seasonal tune-ups. Priority scheduling. 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

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Nearest Locations

Nearest Hiller Locations

Nearest Hiller Locations

Bowling Green Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

2524 Petty Dr
Bowling Green, KY 42103
T: (270) 843-6606

Chattanooga Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

7339 Lee Hwy
Chattanooga, TN 37421
T: (423)-299-6110

Clarksville Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

1500 Ashland City Rd
Clarksville, TN 37040
T: (931) 648-4222

Columbia Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

2555 Pulaski Hwy
Columbia, TN 38401
T: (931) 381-2413

Cookeville Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

1415 Interstate Dr
Cookeville, TN 38501
T: (931) 372-2833

Crossville Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

5335 Peavine Rd
Crossville, TN 38571
T: (931) 484-7936

Dickson Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

1920 TN-46
Dickson, TN 37055
T: (615) 446-4364

Huntsville Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

1891 Slaughter Road
Madison, AL 35758
T: (256) 539-2167

Jackson Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

210 Commerce Center Cir
Jackson, TN 38301
T: (731) 423-0500

Knoxville Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

5507 Ball Camp Pike
Knoxville, TN 37921
T: (865) 602-7707

Memphis Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

1280 Big Orange Rd
Cordova, TN 38018
T: (901) 399-7020

Murfreesboro Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

241 Southpointe Way
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
T: (615) 890-9228

Nashville Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

915 Murfreesboro Pike
Nashville, TN 37217
T: (615) 292-6110

North Nashville Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Services

1617 Highway 31 West
Goodlettsville, TN 37072
T: (615) 851-4066