If you live in a naturally cooler, less humid climate, it can quickly become routine to take air conditioning for granted. But for those of us who live in the perennially hot, humid South, an efficient HVAC system is a sanity-saver…especially during the deep mid-summer months. I’ve experienced what life is like when my air conditioning unit decides it has had enough mid-way through yet another overheated July day. I also don't ever want to have that same experience again.

Luckily, this current spring season is the very best time of year to perform routine air conditioning maintenance and repair tasks. The more you do now to ensure your air conditioning unit is in good working order, the less likely you’ll need pricey HVAC repairs later. These free tools can help you perform routine DIY tasks, decide when to seek the help of an HVAC professional, and also take advantage of any HVAC-related savings or rebates you qualify for.

Basic maintenance every HVAC unit needs

By performing these basic maintenance tasks at least once per year, you can ensure your unit functions as optimally as possible and also troubleshoot maintenance or repair issues before they become full-blown.

  1. Air filter: You want to clean it and, if need be, replace it before summer's heat hits.
  2. Inspect: Do a thorough exterior and (as much as possible) interior inspection, looking for signs of damage, debris, and other hazards.
  3. Duct and vent check: Check all your home air ducts and air vents to make sure none are damaged or obstructed.
  4. Test run: Give your HVAC unit a system test run to make sure it’s working properly.
  5. Thermostat: Test your thermostat by measuring interior temperature with another device to make sure it reads correctly.

These free HVAC maintenance and repair apps/websites can help you do as much as possible on a DIY-basis to keep your air conditioning running—without resorting to expensive repair calls.

1. Family Handyman

The Family Handyman offers both online and app-based DIY tips and repair guides for beginning and expert-level home repairs. The app and website includes HVAC but also has many other wonderful tips and guides, including electrical repair, woodworking, painting, and even plumbing.

2. RepairClinic

RepairClinic is an online-based tool that offers simple, easy-to-follow guides to repair everything from HVAC appliances and refrigerators to lawnmowers and washing machines. RepairClinic's DIY website gives you video-based as well as text instructions for common maintenance and repair projects.

3. This Old House

This Old House is a trusted resource for DIY'ers and professionals alike. In addition to offering video- and text-based learning tools for HVAC maintenance and repair, you can also learn how to enhance cooling with other home modifications, such as installing ceiling fans and even bathroom vent fans.

4. Find HVAC rebates 

These helpful online website tools helps you discover whether there are any available discounts, rebates, or other savings available in your geographic area or through any of the energy carriers serving your area. Whether you currently rent or own, you can find out about financing options, rebates, loans, and other offers that serve as incentives to customers who opt for energy efficient cooling and heating solutions.



4 Money-Saving Tools to Keep Your AC Running All Summer Long