Now that spring is here, it’s time to begin preparing for the hot weather. You want to make sure all of your ducks are in a row before the summer weather hits. One of these ducks is your air conditioning. There is nothing worse than having your air conditioning breakdown during one of the hottest days of the year. Make sure your air conditioner is running properly before you have to begin turning it on. Here are tips for preparing your air conditioner for summertime.
Replace and/or clean your filters
Your central air pushes air through your home almost every day of the year. Air filters are placed in your air system to keep the air as clean as possible. You most likely have a place in your ceiling with a metal piece that looks grated. You can remove it to find an air filter right behind it. The air filter will have a size printed right on it. You can buy a new one from any home improvement or big box store.
Many air conditioners will also have a filter inside the unit itself. To change this filter, unplug your unit first. Next, close the vents with the vent control handle, and then open the front panel on the air conditioner. Remove the air filter and wash it with dish soap and warm water. Make sure the filter is completely dry before placing it back in position. Close the panel and plug your air conditioner back in. Make sure you do this at the end of every summer. If you live in an area that is hot most of the year, clean your air filter every three months. If you need help with this, a heating and cooling service company can come do it for you.
Clean the coils
Your evaporator coil behind your air filter catches some of the debris that your air filter misses. If you haven’t cleaned the filter on your air conditioning unit, then the coil is likely extremely dirty. Remove the access panel on the top of your air conditioner to check your evaporator coil and your condenser coil. You can try to hose off the coils first. If that doesn’t get all of the trapped dirt. Get a sponge and a bucket of soap and water. After you scrub the coils, rinse off the soap and inspect the coils for any damage. If any look damaged, call a local HVAC technician to come replace them.
The coils in your air conditioner are essential for cooling your home. If they are dirty, your air conditioner will have to work harder, thus resulting in higher energy costs and reducing the life of your unit. Cleaning them once a year provides the proper maintenance that they need.
Turn it on early for a test run
Some air conditioners will simply go out the first time they’re turned on in the summer. When this happens, you can be left waiting for days or even weeks while all of the technicians are busy with everyone this happened to. To keep from finding out on a hot day that your air conditioner no longer works properly, turn it on for an hour or two on your first 60-degree day. If it breaks, you’ll likely be able to get it fixed quickly.
Air conditioner maintenance is simple to do. Don’t skip it and overwork your unit. You’ll regret it when it breaks down in the middle of July. Clean and replace filters, clean your coils, and make sure your air conditioner is free of debris and overgrown bushes.