With temperatures still fairly cool for now, it’s hard to imagine those hot, humid days of summer in our future. But the future is closer than you think. And the last thing you need this summer is to be stuck with a malfunctioning or inefficient air conditioning system.
Now is actually the perfect time to start prepping your air conditioner for summer. The reason for this is because then you have plenty of time to take care of any pending repair or performance needs well before temperatures start rising. It’s convenient for you as you won’t have a disruption in service, and it’s convenient for your schedule as well, since you’ll probably have to wait longer for an appointment in the busier days of summer.
“So, What Should I Do?”
First off, professional maintenance is required to truly ensure that your system is ready to do its job to its full capability this summer. But, there are some things you can do on your own to help your cooling system work as effectively and efficiently as it should, for as long as it should!
Check the Outdoor Unit for Debris
The outdoor unit of your air conditioner—the condenser unit—is housed behind panels, which enclose electrical connections and other important system components. If inclement weather, like heavy snow and snow melt, damages these panels, then you should give our pros a call to ensure the safety and functionality of your air conditioner.
In addition to this though, you should be checking for debris on or around the system. Debris, such as tree branches, lawn mulch, leaves, and even dust, can restrict airflow to your air conditioner, making it work harder and wear down faster than it should have to.
What if My Outdoor Unit was Covered This Winter?
That’s great! But be sure to remove the cover before turning the system on for the first time, even if you’re just turning it on to test it for functionality.
Change the Air Filter
There’s a common misconception among homeowners about the air filters. They believe that the air filter is in place to protect their indoor air quality. While having one in place doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, it’s main purpose is actually to protect the air conditioner itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can infiltrate its internal components and restrict airflow as well. All of this makes your cooling system work too hard to do its job and therefore it can’t perform as efficiently as it should be able to.
Clear Obstructions from Vents
Ensure that both your supply and return vents for your air conditioner are open, and free of any obstructions. Dust and debris can impact this, as can things like furniture and draperies. Cleaning and clearing all vents at the beginning of each cooling season is a great “best practice” to follow.
Run Your AC to Ensure Proper Operation
As we stated above, if you have a cover on your system, be sure to remove it first. Then, wait for a warm day and turn your AC on. After it starts, you should feel cool air coming from it. If it’s warm or lukewarm, or doesn’t seem as powerful as it should be, it’s time to call a pro!