With spring fast approaching, the time has come to start thinking about using your air conditioning again. Many people don’t use their air conditioning all winter long. If it’s been a while since you have fired it up, you might be wondering how to best prepare for the hotter months ahead. Although some air conditioning work requires a professional, with just a few steps , you can make sure yours is in top working order for when you need it most.
Why Should I Prep My AC for Spring?
Your air conditioner is a complex piece of machinery that has a lot of moving parts. Any time a mechanical device sits without being used for an entire season , there’s a chance for those moving parts to freeze up and become stuck. Dust, moisture, and other materials in the air can build up in the mechanisms and potentially cause damage when the air conditioning is turned on. To ensure this doesn’t happen, here are some steps you can take before starting your air conditioner this summer.
Inspect and Clean the Filter
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your air conditioner is pull out and inspect the air filter. The air filter sits in front of the fan intake and catches any dust or dirt that would otherwise be sucked into the motor. Depending on the environment and the weather, air filters can be very susceptible to build-up, which can cause air circulation issues. To alleviate these issues, pull out the filter and clean it with soap and water. Be sure to dry the filter completely before replacing it in the unit. If your air conditioner has a 4-6" disposable filter, replace it at least once a year to ensure its effectiveness throughout the high-use months. Smaller filters should be checked monthly and replaced no less than quarterly.
Clean the Outdoor Condenser
The coil of your air conditioner’s condensing unit sits on the outside of your home and can easily attract dirt, leaves, and other debris during the winter. When this debris gets caught in the condensing unit’s metal fins, it can cause interference with the heat exchange and reduce the effectiveness of the entire air conditioner. To avoid this, take time in the spring to hose down the outdoor section of the unit to ensure that it’s clear and ready to go.
Run a Test Cycle
Before you start to run your air conditioner regularly, complete a test cycle and check to make sure that everything’s in good working order. Pay careful attention to whether it’s making any unusual noises or leaking any fluids. You can also check to make sure it’s effectively cooling your entire home and that there’s no loss of power due to clogging or freezing. After your test is finished, there may still be things you won’t be able to check yourself, so it is important you note anything out of the ordinary and report them to an HVAC professional.
Get a Professional AC Tune-Up
There are, of course, some maintenance actions you can’t safely complete on your own. For these activities, hiring an HVAC professional is your best option. A professional technician can inspect things you might not be able to check and perform more complicated procedures to ensure your air conditioner is in top shape for spring. A professional HVAC specialist will do things like reinforce electrical connections, check the fluid lines for leaks, flush the condensing unit, and lubricate the fans and motor.
To get this comprehensive yearly maintenance done, schedule a tune-up and inspection appointment with Aire Serv. We have the knowledge and professional aptitude to keep your air conditioner running smoothly all throughout the hottest months of the year.