Summer is just around the corner and the temperatures outside are already starting to climb. Things are heating up, which means it’s the perfect time to do a little bit of maintenance on your central air conditioner and make sure it’s ready to handle the heat.
If your air conditioner isn’t ready for the heat of summer, you might find yourself dealing with an inconvenient and expensive problem. Imagine waking up on the hottest day of July to discover your air conditioner has gone out. Now think about how many other people also probably woke up and discovered their air conditioner stopped working overnight in that scenario. Consider the possibility that they’ve already called a technician to come out and you won’t be able to get someone to come out for a few days.
Preparing your air conditioner unit before it gets working again is essential if you want to ensure you’re cool all summer long. Here are 6 simple things you can do to get your A/C system ready for summer.
Safety First: Turn the Unit Off
Before you start doing anything to your air conditioner unit, you should always turn off the power to the condenser at the service panel. If there’s a 240-volt weatherproof disconnect box located near the unit, which typically contains a lever, switch, or fuse. If your unit doesn’t have one, you can turn off the power using the circuit breaker.
2. Clean or Replace All Filters
Regularly cleaning or replacing dusty filters is the simplest way you can take care of your air conditioning unit. If your filters have started to look clogged by dust, it’s time to clean or replace them. Ideally, you should aim to do this at least every six months to avoid restricting airflow and overworking your air conditioner system. However, many things can impact the life of your air filter, including:
- The age of your air conditioner unit
- The air quality where you live
- If you have pets
- Certain medical conditions, like certain respiratory conditions
3. Clean the Condenser Coil
The condenser coils play a key part in keeping your home cool by transferring the heat from inside your home to outside. Dirt and debris can collect on the coils, making it harder for them to release excess heat from your home.
Located on the air conditioner’s condenser unit, it typically looks like a large metal box with grills along the sides. After you’ve turned off the power to the air conditioner unit, you can use a garden hose to spray away any dirt, grass clippings, or debris covering your condenser coils. Avoid using brushes or vacuums, which can damage the coils.
4. Clear Debris from the Unit
If your air conditioner unit has been turned off and sitting idle for a few months, it may have collected dust or become covered in leaves. This debris can reduce the air supply to your air conditioner unit, forcing it to work harder to supply cool air to your home. Over time, the obstructed airflow can cause the unit’s motor to burn out faster.
Even if you keep a cover over your air conditioner unit when it’s off, you should still take some time to inspect your air conditioning unit for damage and clear away any debris. Remove any leaves or other debris at the base of the condenser and clean the fan blades. You may also want to clean the condensate drain to remove any blockages and prevent mold from growing in damp areas.
5. Check Your Coolant Lines
If your air conditioning unit has lost cooling power, it could be caused by damage to your coolant lines or the insulation surrounding them. These lines connect the inside evaporator coil to the condenser unit and contain the coolant that helps keep your house cool. Coolant leaks can damage your air conditioner unit and increase your energy bills, which is why it’s important to inspect it regularly.
If the insulation is damaged or missing, you can use foam insulation sleeves or foam insulation tape to replace it. You should also inspect the coolant lines for holes or cracks, which can be an indication of a coolant leak.
6. Test Your Unit
Once you’ve finished cleaning your air conditioning unit, it’s important to test out your air conditioner unit to make sure it’s working properly. Let it dry out and turn the power back on. Next, set your thermostat to cool and check to see if the vents start producing cool air.
Make Preventative Maintenance a Priority
If you need some help getting your air conditioning unit ready for summer, Aquarius Home Services has your back! Contact us today to learn more about our Service Partner Plan, where we’ll send one of our highly trained service technicians to your home twice a year to make sure your furnace and air conditioning unit are functioning at optimal efficiency.
Doing preventative maintenance year-round is crucial to keeping your air conditioning unit working properly all summer long. Small changes like replacing the filters more frequently can help you prolong the life of your unit and lower your energy bills. Plus, regularly inspecting your air conditioning unit can help you catch small issues before they become a much more expensive problem.
And on the off-chance you find yourself waking up on the hottest day of July to discover your air conditioner has gone out, we can help you with that too! Our certified technicians are experts at troubleshooting and repairing any type of air conditioning-related issue. When you’re ready to beat the heat, give us a call and we’ll get your home back to a comfortable temperature in no time.