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Air conditioner maintenance tips

Preventative measures to keep your ac in great shape

You don’t have to be an HVAC expert to take care of your air conditioner. Follow these tips to keep your system running well and catch problems before they escalate.

Air Conditioner Maintenance


The following information is for educational purposes only. Tampering with your system may void your warranty. If you have any questions about your system, call a Trane Comfort Specialist™.

Air conditioner maintenance schedule

Spring AC maintenance checklist - dealer

Schedule a preventative maintenance checkup with your local dealer every spring before the high temps of summer arrive. Here’s what your dealer will do to make sure your AC is running perfectly

    • Remove debris around the outdoor unit, compressor and refrigerant lines.
    • Remove any leaves that have fallen through the grill and into the unit.
    • Inspect and flush the condensate drain.
    • Test the thermostat for proper operation.
    • Clean the evaporator and condenser coils.
    • Tighten mechanical and electrical connections.
    • Measure and adjust refrigerant levels if needed.
    • Remove dust from air-handling components.
    • Lubricate the blower motor as directed.
    • Examine refrigerant lines and valves.
    • Inspect belts for wear.

      Monthly ac maintenance tasks - DIY

      Here are a few tasks that you can complete yourself.

        • Inspect the return air filter every month and replace as needed.
        • Keep vegetation 18 inches away from each side of the outdoor unit.
        • Clean debris away from the compressor to maintain proper airflow.
        • Tell your technician if you hear any unusual noises.

          Changing your air conditioner filter

          Clean or replace your air filter regularly

          Taking care of the filter is one of the most important things you can do for your air conditioner. As the system circulates air, it filters the air in your home and extracts excess moisture to help control humidity.

            Why should I change my air filter?

            When your system circulates and filters the air in your home, dust and dirt particles build up on the filter. Excessive accumulation can block the airflow, forcing the unit to work harder to maintain desired temperatures. The harder your unit works, the more energy it uses, and the more you pay in energy costs.

              How often should I change my air filter?

              Clean or replace your filter twice a month during seasons when the unit runs more often. When replacing your filter(s), always use the same size and type that was originally supplied. Filters are available from your dealer. Where disposable filters are used, they must be replaced every month with the same size as originally supplied.

                How do I change my air filter?

                Ask your Trane dealer where the filter is located in your system and how to service it. Just be sure to replace it with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow.

                  Air Conditioner Not Working?

                  AC Troubleshooting tips

                  Here a few common problems and quick fixes to try if your air conditioner isn’t working properly.

                    • Problem: AC not running.
                    • Solution: Check that your thermostat is set to cool (especially if it’s the first time using it).

                    • Problem: AC blowing warm air.
                    • Solution: Check your coolant levels.

                    • Problem: Low air flow
                    • Solution: Check your filters. They probably need to be cleaned or replaced.

                    For even more air conditioner troubleshooting tips, check out our AC troubleshooting guide and these answers to common cooling problems.

                      Proactive Tips for Preventing Poor AC Performance

                      Setting the temperature for the season

                      • In the summer, place the system switch on COOL, and the fan switch on AUTO. Then set the temperature by using the indicator on the thermostat control. Now your system will cool your house whenever the indoor temperature climbs above the thermostat setting. It will shut off when the desired room temperature is reached.
                      • In the winter, when the system switch is on HEAT, the system will operate whenever the room temperature falls below the temperature setting. Once the desired temperature is reached, the system will shut off.

                        Keep your outdoor AC looking new

                        Clean the enamel finish of your outdoor unit with soap and water. For stubborn grease spots, use a household detergent. Do not use lacquer thinner or other synthetic solvents as they may damage the finish.

                          Extend the life of your air conditioner

                          • When building a new house or renovating an old one, choose light-colored roof shingles to reflect more of the sun’s heat.
                          • During moderate weather, don’t use the system unnecessarily.
                          • Draw blinds or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
                          • Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight.
                          • In the cooling season, don’t run kitchen and bath exhaust fans longer than necessary.
                          • Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat producing devices beneath a wall-mounted thermostat. Rising heat from the equipment may cause the system to over-cool your house.

                            Air Conditioner Owner's Guide

                            Download our air conditioner user guides

                            For specific tips and details about how to maintain and service your air conditioner, visit our User Guides page. You’ll find details and helpful information for all our air conditioner models (XL20i, XL16i, XL15i, XR15, XR13, XB14, XB13, XB300).