AC Maintenance & AC Repair Guide for Homeowners

Posted by Will Housh on February 23

Man, this wacky weather has us in the Midwest thinking spring already! With these mild temperatures, you might as well get a jump start on your spring home to-do list. Air conditioner-related tasks likely fill that list. Before you call your home AC repair contractor, know there are AC maintenance and AC repair items that every homeowner can tackle!

Cross some tasks off your to-do list and get your home ready for warmer weather with our AC Maintenance and AC Repair Guide for Homeowners!

AC Maintenance for Homeowners

AC maintenance is an important component of owning an air conditioner, which offers great benefits:

  • AC maintenance improves the efficiency and performance of your air conditioner. This cuts your energy bills while creating a more comfortable indoor environment.
  • AC maintenance lengthens system life. Keep your air conditioner running longer. Max out its years of service, while avoiding early replacement expenses.
  • AC maintenance prevents the need for AC repairs. Maintaining your system properly means you’ll be less likely to experience breakdowns during cooling season. Protect your system and prevent expensive repair bills!

Hire an air conditioning technician to perform professional preventative maintenance each year. This valuable service improves performance, prevents repairs, and protects your pocketbook – all at an affordable price. Here’s what to expect during an air conditioning maintenance check.

While you’ll want an air conditioning tech to perform this service, there are many items any homeowner can complete to keep the system in great shape throughout the year.

  • Clean off your unit. Keeping your exterior air conditioner condenser unit free and clear of obstructions allows air to flow through the system correctly. This eliminates stress and keeps the system working properly. Clear away vegetation and clean off debris – follow these simple AC cleaning instructions.
  • Clean indoor vents and registers. As air circulates through the home, dust and dirt can stick to your vents and registers. This not only makes your home dirtier, but diminishes your indoor air quality. Follow these vent cleaning instructions to do so easily!
  • Change your air filter. Air filters need changed every 30 to 90 days, depending on the type of filter you have. It’s a wise idea to get on a regular schedule – note filter changes on your calendar, and make a note to check them every month during the summer, when your system runs ‘round the clock. Follow these filter change instructions to get the job done.
  • Keep pests out. When critters get in to your home’s HVAC system, they can cause great destruction. Their presence and leftovers have a negative impact on your indoor air quality. Pest-proof your AC components to keep them out!

AC Repair for Homeowners

Air conditioners are complex mechanical systems. If you’re not familiar with how they work, it can be intimidating when problems occur. An AC repair technician can always come out to identify and fix system issues. However, there are some minor AC repairs that most homeowners can make. Tackling these minor AC repairs yourself can save you money and restore your cooling right away.

  • Whatever problem you’re experiencing, it’s smart to run through some basic air conditioner troubleshooting before calling in a technician.
    • Check the air conditioner’s power – check the switches outdoors by the condenser and indoors by the air handler. Also, check the breaker which powers the unit at your home’s electrical panel.
    • Check your thermostat settings – not turning on or blowing hot air may be a thermostat issue. Check that the thermostat has power, by fresh batteries or checking the breaker. Set the thermostat to “cool” mode and adjust the temperature a few degrees below the current room temperature.
    • Change your air filter – a blocked filter can cause a range of issues, from little air coming through the registers, to the system not turning on. Make sure your filter fits in the filter compartment properly and has not collapsed into the air handler.
  • AC Repair – System blowing hot air. This is a common AC repair complaint that may have a simple fix. Read these causes behind an AC blowing hot air; adjusting the thermostat, cleaning off the condenser unit, and changing your air filter are tasks you can do on your own. Try them before calling for AC repair.
  • AC Repair – System ices over. If your air conditioner ices over, it won’t be able to operate properly. Follow these steps to de-ice your air conditioner. If your system continues to ice over, or you don’t feel comfortable performing these steps, call for air conditioning repair.

If ever you are not comfortable performing an AC repair yourself, be safe – call for professional assistance!

Don’t have an AC repair guy on speed dial? No problem! connects homeowners to local home AC repair pros. With some brief info on your needs, we’ll set you up with a local pro who can provide the AC maintenance and AC repair your system needs.

Or, search our Contractor Directory and discover local HVAC pros who can get your job done. Our Certified Contractors have earned our seal of approval – know you’re in capable hands when working with one of’s finest!


What Makes a Good AC Technician?

Posted by Will Housh on February 16

Home or commercial building owners should have a good AC technician on speed dial. When you need a new air conditioner installed in spring or reliable AC repairs in the heat of summer, do you know who to call?

Air conditioners are expensive, and they are complex mechanical equipment. To protect your comfort and investment, work with a skilled AC technician who knows the industry. The factors below distinguish between good AC techs and those you may want to stay away from.

Licensed HVAC Technicians

The state or city you live in, may require licensing for AC technicians. Requirements vary but often require certain education, apprenticeship, or number of work hours. Air conditioners are complex systems. Danger and damage may occur working with an unskilled technician. Government licensing works to protect consumers from unskilled AC techs.

NATE-Certified AC Technicians

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is a nationally recognized, independent certifying organization for HVAC pros. Air conditioning technicians voluntarily undergo NATE certification to validate their knowledge of the field. To obtain a NATE certification, AC technicians must:

  • Pass rigorous knowledge-based exams. There are exams for entry-level and seasoned techs. Various certifications exist for general HVAC knowledge and specialties, including air conditioning.
  • Pursue ongoing education and training for recertification. The HVAC field is always changing, as new equipment comes to market and laws best practices evolve. AC techs must recertify every 2 years. Techs must earn 16 hours of continuing education or may take a recertification exam.

AC Technicians with EPA Certification

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) governs the use of air conditioning coolant. AC technicians must hold an EPA refrigerant handling certification to work with refrigerant. Work with a certified air conditioning tech for your protection. Proper coolant handling protects your AC system and the environment. It also reduces potential for injury.

  • An EPA certification shows the technician knows how to correctly and safely work with coolant. AC coolant is highly pressurized and is dangerous if the technician is not properly trained to work with it.
  • The EPA certification also ensures the AC technician trained in the proper disposal of coolant. Many older air conditioners contain R-22 coolant, or Freon. It is harmful to the environment if not recycled. Purposefully releasing coolant into the environment is illegal in the U.S., per the Clean Air Act. R-22 may cause ozone depletion and global warming. A phase out of R-22 will replace this harmful coolant.  Newer air conditioners contain R-401A. It is chlorine-free and better for the environment. R-401A still requires certification to handle.

As you look for a good AC technician to hire, look for the elements listed above. Certifications and licensing will aid you in evaluating contractors and picking the best out of the crowd. makes it easy for consumers to find and hire skilled AC technicians. Browse our HVAC Contractor Directory to find an Certified Contractor in your area. Or, tell us your HVAC needs. We’ll set you up with a qualified heatin