Spring is officially here and with that comes longer days and rising temperatures. It may seem early, but now is the perfect time to start readying your Air Conditioning Unit for those fast approaching summer days.
Although your air conditioner may be the last thing on your mind, it’s better to check it out earlier rather than waiting until it’s too late and you’re stuck waiting a week in the heat for a repair appointment. Not only will you thank yourself, but your wallet just might too.
A poorly maintained system can increase your bills because it has to work harder than it normally would and can give small problems time to develop into bigger (and more expensive) ones. Regular maintenance can help you save money and potentially extend the life of the unit.
So work your way through this short checklist to ensure your AC unit will be ready when you need it. You’ll be glad you did!
Warning: Before preforming any maintenance on your air conditioner, make sure that the thermostat has been turned all the way down and that the unit has been shut off and that the electricity has been shut off through the Electrical Service Disconnect box (usually outside near the condenser unit). If possible, access the breaker switch for the unit and switch it off as well. Wait at least 30 minutes after shutting of the unit to begin any work.
Many air conditioner repairs require extensive training and should not be attempted by the everyday person. If you think there is a problem with your unit, contact a certified HVAC technician.
Clean or Change the Filters
Depending on the model, the Filters on your AC unit need to be cleaned or changed regularly. The time between changes will vary based on how frequently you use it and the environment of your home, anywhere from once a month for heavy users or pet owners to once every three months. If you have a central air unit, the filter will typically be in the air return duct.
(For help with changing the filter in a window unit, check out this blog: You’re Probably Overdue | When and How to Change Your Air Conditioner’s Air Filter.)
Clean the Outdoor Unit (Condenser)
It’s important to clear the area around the unit by removing any blockages, plant growth, or debris that may have collected from the fall or winter. There should be about two feet of clearance around the unit. Make sure the base is clear of any leaves and that the grass around the unit is kept trimmed. During use, you should check for debris at the very least on a monthly basis.
Especially if the unit was left uncovered for the past few months, there will probably be quite a bit of dirt and dust that has collected on the unit itself. Use a clean cloth or Coil Brush to carefully clean the coils, fan, and fins. Rinse gently with your garden hose. For particularly stuck on debris, you may need a Commercial Air Conditioner Cleaner.
Straighten the Fins
When cleaning, it is very important to avoid bending the fins on the exterior of the unit because it restricts air flow. If you do notice that some of them have bent, carefully use the appropriate size Fin Comb for your unit, moving in an upward motion. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, don’t hesitate to ask a technician.
Clean the Registers in Your Home
Make sure the Air Registers in your home are free of any dust or debris and that there isn’t furniture or any other items covering or blocking them. Vacuum them regularly to keep them clear.
Schedule an Appointment with a Service Technician
There are some things that need to be checked on your unit each year that should really be left to the professionals such as inspecting the unit and duct work. It’s a good idea to schedule your appointment early in the season to avoid competing for a spot when the calls roll in during the warmer months.
Not only will you mostly likely have more options when it comes to scheduling, but if there are any small issues now you can catch them early and avoid major repairs down the line.
Looking for the parts you need for your Air Conditioner? You can find Genuine Manufacturer Replacement Parts for most models on our website | www.1stsourceservall.com. We hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or additional tips feel free to leave them in the comments below!
Written by: Sarah Walker