Fixin the little things is a page where I can share family and handyman information. Basically, this blog is all about me. Shameless self-promotion: of my family photos, of my services, of my writing, of my future, of my amazing ability to come up with clever ideas on photos of my life experiences . . . And also, a blatant visual aide when it comes to colors, spelling, formating, editing and computer stuff.

Fixin' The Little Things

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Central A/C Cleaning

Here is an easy tip to check and clean your central air A/C unit to make sure it is ready for the season.
Tools needed:
  1. Multi-tip screw driver
  2. Socket set
  3. 3 inch wide paint brush
  4. Shop vac
This is a photo of a typical A/C unit with one of the grills removed.

The A/C unit located outside your home or condo performs a heat exchange to allow your system to cool your home. If the coils on the unit are clogged with dirt and dust, the unit has to work longer and harder to cool your home.

This is a photo of the coils clogged with dirt and dust.

I use a 3 inch wide paint brush and a shop vac to vacuum the dirt and dust from the cooling coil fins. On some unit, you may have to remove a grill cover while other can be vacuumed without disassembling anything. Care should be taken to not damage or bend the coils while cleaning.

This is a photo of the cleaned coils after the dirt and dust is removed.

Inspect the base of the A/C unit to remove any dirt, leaves or debris from the base inside and outside and under the unit. This debris holds moisture against the metal frame and causes the metal to rust shortening the life and requiring replacement costs.

Be sure to check with your furnace/air conditioner repair service at least every 2 or 3 years to determine if your A/C unit needs servicing.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011


Here are the free programs I recommend to keep your computer secure and running faster.

Avoid falling victim from pop up ads online and even on the TV to download programs that claim to fix or scan your computer. Use my recommendations and get them for free from CNET.COM so you know that they have been screened and tested for spam and scams. Be aware that each program also has a paid version and may pop up occasionally offering to sell their paid version to you but all you have to do is decline. These free programs are not trial versions and if they tell you that they are, you may have installed a trial version. Don't confuse the upgrade offers for paid versions with the free updates that will be offered to keep your version current.

Save money on Antivirus software and use one of these to protect your PC for free. Use AVG or Microsoft Security Essentials to protect you from Virus infection.

Your PC comes with a Firewall which is essential to controlling contact with incoming and outgoing connections to the internet. Windows XP’s firewall has proven less effective and even tho Vista and Windows 7 firewalls are improved, I recommend using the free Basic Zone Alarm.

Keep your PC running faster by doing regular maintenance. Win Utilites has a 1 Click Maintenance tab that will do real PC cleaning that helps to make your PC run visibly faster. Use the You Tube links below to see instructions on how to download and use Win Utilities.

For the more advanced user try using Advanced System Care to clean and maintain your PC. It has some extra features to tweak your computer settings.

If you want more protection and don't mind paying $35 to $75 per year, I recommend Norton 360 for protection and keeping your computer running faster.

Over time the links may change so if the link doesn’t work, let me know and use Google to search for the program. Search example: "CNET; free AVG"

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