Summer will be here before you know it, and you don’t want to get caught sweating on the first hot day. The early spring is the ideal time to start preparing your cooling system for summer, ensuring everything is working when you need it most.
Here are seven practical tips for preparing your air conditioner for the summer months. Remember to turn off the power before doing anything else!
Look for Infestations
If you have an exterior unit, the first step is looking for signs of an infestation. Many woodland creatures like birds, mice, and squirrels will climb into external units to create a sheltered nest— especially if you use a cover during the fall and winter.
Turning on your air conditioner with a nest inside will have horrifying consequences and ultimately destroy your unit. However, as these critters like to chew, it’s also integral to book a full inspection to ensure no wires are damaged. First, call a pest control specialist, then contact your trusted HVAC expert for any necessary air condition repair help.
Clean Out Your Filters and Vents
The next step is cleaning out your filters and vents, both in your house and in the unit. Depending on the cooling system you have, the unit may use disposable or washable filters. If it uses the former, be sure to find a replacement before throwing out the existing filter, as supply chain issues could delay your timeline. If you have washable filters, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Next, take some time to clean your registers and vacuum out vents and ducts in your home. This spring cleaning task will remove dust and debris, which impedes airflow and diminishes your home’s air quality.
Clean the Blowers and Fans
Take the cover off your unit and wipe down the fans and blowers to remove any build-up that’s accumulated over the fall and winter. You’ll also want to thoroughly rinse the condenser cover— the vented part that fits over the fan.
When washing off the various components in your cooling system, be mindful of the electrical connections. Avoid spraying water in areas with electrical components to prevent damage to the unit. When in doubt, call an air conditioning specialist to tackle the job.
Look for Signs of Leaks
Next, inspect the coolant lines— the insulated pipes on the outside of the unit. Look for signs of corrosion or leaking, both on the lines and the ground underneath. If you notice areas where the insulation is damaged or coming off, replace it as soon as possible.
If you live in a place with lots of beautiful trees, you’ll likely find some leaves stuck in your outdoor unit. Take the time to remove these to prevent rust and pest invasions. Using a cover during the fall can block the leaves from getting into your unit, but most AC experts recommend taking it off for the winter months to avoid nesting creatures.
Run a Test
Once you’re free and clear of the unit, turn the power back on and run a test. In addition to listening to the cooling system as it runs, you’ll also want to evaluate how the air feels inside. If you notice temperature discrepancies or cold spots, there’s something wrong.
Short-cycling is another issue many people detect. If the unit appears to rev up and then fall silent without the fans kicking in, it’s time to call a repair person.
Schedule a Tune-Up
While you can do plenty of tasks to prepare your air conditioner for the spring, it’s worth scheduling an annual tune-up. A professional will be able to know what connections should be tightened, where lubrication should be applied, and what repairs need to be made before the busy season.
With this simple process, you can ensure your cooling system is fully functional for summer.
Rebecca Alston (mamaslikeme.com)
I am Rebecca Alston and I am a 30 something mother, full time wife, and a foodie! I enjoy writing, decorating, making cookies, playing with my girls, decorating the house and traveling green! Mamas Like Me, my personal blog, is made with love.