Ready to Turn your AC on for the Season? Don’t Ignore these Steps.
Warmer weather is on its way, and though you may not need your air conditioning system quite yet, now is the time to get it ready for summer action – before it leaves you hot, bothered, and looking for emergency HVAC service.
How to Best Prepare Your Air Conditioner for a Scorching Summer
To prevent the shock of high summer electric bills, ensure performance and efficiency with this simple 7 step plan:
Check your outdoor unit.
The part of your system located outside is called the condenser. If yours was covered over the winter, be sure to take the cover off before turning on your system. While you’re out there, check around the system itself, clearing away any dead or growing grass, leaf buildup, and other debris that can reduce airflow and take a toll on the efficiency of your system. It should be clear not only right against the unit, but a full 18-inches surrounding it.
Change the filter.
Back inside the house, check your air conditioner filter. It’s generally a wise idea to go ahead and clean or replace the filter now. If you have kids, pets, or allergies, mark your calendar ahead so you don’t forget monthly replacement. At a minimum the filter should be changed every 3-months. An amazing efficiency booster – or system killer – fail to perform this simple and inexpensive maintenance, and you’ll get to know your area heating and air conditioning companies pretty well over the coming season.
Check the drain line.
Keep the drain line by your indoor cooling coil unit free and clear, flushing a cup of chlorine bleach down it followed by a thorough rinse with a gallon of water. Clogged drains can cause severe water damage to your home.
Check vents & ductwork.
Remove vent blockages such as furniture, toys, carpets or drapes. Eyeball exposed ductwork for wear-and-tear. Cooling loss from leaky ductwork will greatly impact comfort and efficiency.
Fire it up.
Make sure your system is on at the outdoor unit and at the breaker box. Then, turn it on at the thermostat to the ‘cool’ position, with the fan on ‘auto,’ setting the temperature to around 68-degrees. If your thermostat is outdated or you are looking for more energy savings, now might be the time to consider upgrading to a smart ‘learning’ home thermostat.
Let it run for 10-15-minutes. Make sure the fan on your outdoor (condenser) unit is spinning, and you hear the hum of the compressor. Back indoors, listing for any abnormal sounds. Turn off the system immediately if you hear anything strange, and call for heating and cooling repair services.
Give your system a tune-up.
Not sure how to service an air conditioning unit? It’s a job for a pro. Spring is the ideal time for regular system maintenance, before the summer heat takes its toll, to ensure your system has a proper refrigerant charge, coils are clean, and all mechanical components are properly functioning.