How to Prep Your Air Conditioner for Summer

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247c13cd-d617-461f-a9d2-9abba9455fd1Your air conditioner has been sitting idle throughout the winter. But as temperatures begin to rise, it’s time to put it to work once again. However, you can’t expect your air conditioner to suddenly work at full functionality without giving it a little TLC.

Follow these tips to get your air conditioner ready for summer use.

1. Get Your Unit Inspected

The most important thing you can do is have an HVAC professional inspect your air conditioner. A professional can notice any areas that might require repair or replacement, such as:

  • Frayed or damaged insulation on coolant lines
  • Missing electrical panels
  • Drainage problems with the coil drainage hose
  • Problems with the thermostat

Ignoring these issues can cause your air conditioner to develop more serious damage over time. These problems can prevent your air conditioner from working properly and can cost you a bundle to get them repaired.

After the HVAC professional makes any needed repairs, he or she should start the air conditioner. If it doesn’t blow cold air within a few minutes, there is a lingering problem that requires attention. If you covered your condenser over the winter season, make sure your HVAC professional must remove the cover before activating your system. Turning on your air conditioner with the cover on can actually damage the system.

An HVAC professional can also help you determine whether it’s time to replace your air conditioning system. It’s a good idea to replace your air conditioner if it’s more than ten years old or requires costly repairs. Plus, choosing a more energy-efficient system can help you save money on energy bills.

2. Change the Air Filter

Clogged and dirty air filters can block the air flow coming from your air conditioner. You should change your air filter about twice a year, and right before the summer season is the perfect time to do so.

To change your air filter:

  1. Turn off the air conditioner.
  2. Locate the air filter. It might be next to the thermostat, behind the main vent, or inside the furnace itself.
  3. Pull out the old filter and slide the new one into place. Pay attention to the arrow on the filter that tells you how to insert the filter.

Make sure you choose a filter that has the same dimensions as the old filter. If you have any questions about what type of filter is best for you, ask your HVAC professional.

3. Clear Dirt and Debris

Over the fall and winter, leaves and debris may have blown over your condenser, blocking air flow. Remove this debris by hand. Plants, debris, and mulch can also crowd and block the condenser, so remove any weeds or plants nearby.

After you remove debris from outside the condenser, it’s important to remove debris that may be trapped inside. You can do so by:

  1. Turning off the air conditioner
  2. Removing the protective panels
  3. Using a coil brush to clean the coils from the outside
  4. Using a vacuum to clean off the debris on the inside of the coils
  5. Vacuuming debris from the fan blades

You can further clean the condenser by mopping any water from inside the unit. Also, improve lubrication by placing a few drops of oil in the motor’s oil ports.

Just as you should clean the outdoor unit, you should clean the indoor parts of your air conditioner as well. Make sure you vacuum your vents to remove dirt and dust.

Trying to get through the summer with a malfunctioning air conditioner can turn into a nightmare. Follow these steps to ensure that your air conditioner works smoothly this summer.

Don’t forget to have an HVAC specialist inspect, repair, or replace your air conditioner. Call Controlled Comfort today for optimum summer comfort.

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