5 Tips To Get Your Air Conditioner Summer Ready
The summer months will be here before we know it, so it’s time to start preparing to cool your house, so you’re ready when the temperatures climb. The last thing you want is to find out your home’s air conditioner isn’t working properly when it gets hot, you’re sweating, and you decide to switch on your air conditioning for the first time. That’s too late! To help you avoid this scenario, we’ve put together five tips for preparing your home’s heating and cooling systems for summer.
1) Replace Filters
Your air conditioner will run more efficiently and be less likely to break down if you keep it clean. As a general rule, filters should be replaced approximately every three months, or when recommended by the filter manufacturer. Under certain conditions, though, they can become clogged after just a few weeks. If your filters are in bad shape, replace them as soon as possible before the hot temperature sets in. You may also want to consider purchasing an indoor air purifier, which will take some load off your AC system’s filter. It’s important that all of your equipment is clean and running smoothly so that they won’t cause unnecessary wear on any moving parts or make your air conditioner run inefficiently, having to work through dust and grime deposits. To check if your filters are due for changing, pop out the existing air filter and hold it up to a light. If you can see through it, it still has some life left in it. If, however, you can’t see through the filter, it’s time to replace it.
2) Clean Condenser Coils
We may not think about it, but an AC unit’s condenser coils have to work pretty hard in order to keep our homes at a comfortable temperature. Over time, these coils can become dirty and clogged with dust and dirt, which reduces airflow and efficiency. This can cause higher electric bills and force your AC system to work harder than necessary. Buildup on the AC condenser can inhibit the flow of air, limiting your AC’s performance and potentially causing problems that could result in costly repairs. If your unit was uncovered during the winter months, you’ll probably need to clean it out before attempting to use it when summer rolls around. Make sure that the power is off and the unit is turned off. Carefully remove the panels or protective grilles from the condenser unit. Using a garden hose, gently clean the coils from the outside of the unit. Use caution so as to not bend any of the fins. Again, make sure the power is turned off to the air conditioner before you remove the panels and do any cleaning.
3) Clean And Clear Debris
After you have replaced the condenser unit covers, assess the area around the outside AC unit. Any loose debris like leaves and sticks should be removed. If there are any bushes or tree branches within a couple of feet of the unit, they will need to be trimmed back. It’s important that there is at least a 2-foot diameter of open space around the outdoor unit, in order to ensure the free flow of air needed for its proper functioning.
4) Check Coolant Lines
Inspect the refrigerant lines, which are the pipes or tubes running from the condenser unit outside, to the evaporator inside of the house. These should be covered with foam coolant line insulation to avoid energy loss. If you see any areas that are frayed or missing altogether, the foam insulation should be replaced with new foam insulation sleeves, or wrapped with foam insulation tape. These materials can be found at most hardware stores.
5) Test The Unit
Once you have checked the equipment and performed these maintenance steps, it’s time to test it. Make sure that you have allowed time for the unit to dry thoroughly, if any cleaning required the use of water or other liquid. You will need to turn your system back on, lower your thermostat to the desired temperature, and switch your thermostat on. Go to your outside unit and check that the condenser fan is running. The air coming out of the top of the unit should feel warm. Next, go inside your home and after 10-15 minutes, check that you can feel the temperature cooling off throughout the house. Make sure you test the unit before summer, so if any repairs are needed, you will have time to get your system back in shape before it gets really hot!
Questions, Concerns? Contact HVAC Experts!
Remember that if your AC system is in need of repairs or replacing, if any of the steps described above seem out of your ‘DIY wheelhouse’, or perhaps you’re just not sure and want an expert to take a look instead, you can always call a professional, like Lancaster Brothers Heating & Cooling, serving the Kansas City area for over 21 years. Lancaster Brothers is happy to answer your questions, take a look at your system and provide maintenance and/or repairs as needed, so your AC system can run smoothly and you can enjoy summer…from your comfortable, cool home!