It’s only a matter of time before winters are over and then it’s summertime! You know what that means! It’s time to turn on the air conditioners. There’s nothing like that hit of crisp, cool, and refreshing air.
But, wait! Before you go there, it’s crucial to have a few tips handy to prep your air conditioner. After all, it will be waking from months-long slumber. So, make sure it’s ready to start doing its job.
It’s better than having to deal with a poorly functioning, malfunctioning, or broken unit. To beat the heat and enjoy your summer days, here are 8 hot tips to prep your AC for upcoming summers. If you don’t have an AC unit and plan on installing one, you can learn all about the air conditioner installation cost.
Safety First. Take Proper Precautions
When working with your AC for the first time, be sure to take all precautions. Start by turning off the circuit breaker. Also, turn off the power supply to the condenser at the main panel before you start anything. Typically, the condenser has a 240-volt disconnect box near it. It’s where you’ll find the fuses, a circuit breaker, and a lever to shut down the condenser. Turn off that too!
Clean or Replace The Filters
It’s important to clean your air filters every two weeks. But, it’s good to check them once in a while. Anytime they start looking clogged with debris and dust, clean them up. Not changing the air filters will reduce your AC’s efficiency by restricting the airflow. What’s more, you’ll be recirculating dust particles in your home. That’s not healthy! A clogged filter could even lead to a system shutdown.
Inspect/Clean The Outdoor Unit
After you have cleaned the filters, take a look at the outdoor unit. Most of the time they’re either mounted on the outside wall or placed on the roof. After months of exposure, it’s common for garden matter, debris, and dust to collect around the outdoor unit. This might impact the unit’s functionality as well as efficiency.
The unit needs proper venting to maintain an ideal temperature. It’s good to grab your groom and clean things up every couple of months. Sometimes pigeons and other creatures may also form a house around the unit. You may find that cute but wait until a lizard or rat is stuck inside the unit causing a smelly mess.
And, while you’re at it, be sure to check the wires and electrical setup. Make sure everything looks good. If there’s a noticeable issue with the motor of the power supply, hire a professional to fix it.
Clean the Condenser Coils
The next thing to do is clean out the debris and dust from your unit’s condenser coil. The condenser unit is located outdoors. This large metal box has a grilles-like structure on the sides.
Most people cover their AC during the winters. It keeps the debris from collecting on everything. If you didn’t cover it, you would likely be dealing with tons of dirt, yard debris, and possibly leaves.
If you see clogged coils, you would need to use soft pressure to clean the unit. But, be careful so you don’t damage the coil or bend the delicate fins. When in doubt, always go for professional help.
Check The Coolant Lines
The pipes/refrigerant tubes run from the indoor unit to the outer condenser. Usually, these lines are covered with foam insulation. Notice these lines and see if you notice any missing or frayed insulation. If so, you would want to replace it with new insulation sleeves. Alternatively, you could also wrap it with insulation tape in a spiral motion.
Test the Unit
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your air conditioning unit, let it sit until it’s thoroughly dried. Only then, turn on the power.
Follow these steps to turn the power back on –
- If you have a thermostat, turn it off.
- Turn the power back on at both the main panel as well as the disconnect box.
- Turn on the thermostat and switch it to cool
Note – The furnace blower or the air handler blows the dehumidified and chilled air across the rooms through ductwork. If you have central air conditioning, then always hire HVAC service professionals. This is not a DIY job and you must hire experts for this.
Arrange A Professional Service
Nothing can beat professional help. You may take all precautions and safety measures, but when it comes to ultimate upkeep and maintenance, only a professional can do the best job. So, take some time to book an AC service session. The experts will make it a point to thoroughly clean both the units, the crucial parts, and everything in-between.
They might even suggest if anything requires replacing. They’ll also see whether or not all parts of working as they should be. If you have evaporated cooling or ducted air-conditioning, there might be some hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Only a professional can reach those places to clean them up.
As long as you take care of these simple yet effective tips, you should enjoy a comfortable living condition all summer long. Little things go a long way in maintaining your AC’s health, performance, and efficiency.