It might be just barely spring, but summer is just around the corner. For a lot of homeowners, this means flipping the heat to air conditioning and potentially, discovering that it isn’t working properly. This is why it is so important to check your A/C now, before you really need it. Not only can you beat the rush for the repairs, you’ll get extra time to clean and prep your unit so it can perform at its best all summer long. So when, and how do you prep your unit?
Now is the time for A/C prepping
You can run a simple check on your air conditioner anytime the weather is above 50 degrees or so. No need to leave it on all day, just long enough to be sure it’s blowing cold air and there aren’t any noises or smells coming out of the outdoor unit. If you try when it is too cold, the unit can freeze up or it could refuse to kick on at all. Both situations could lead to you calling, and paying the repairman for no reason. It is also important to not wait too long as if there is an issue, an HVAC repairman’s schedule gets fully booked as soon as the weather heats up. Unless you love waiting for service, check your unit when the days start to warm but aren’t unbearably hot and you should be able to find someone to do the repairs and beat the rush.
How to prepare your A/C for summer
Though much of what it takes to repair an A/C unit should be done by a licensed professional, there are things that a homeowner can do to get the system ready.
- Trim the weeds – Weeds growing into and around your A/C unit can stop the airflow which makes the unit work efficiently. With the breaker turned off, remove any vines that have climbed inside, trim and weeds growing around the unit and take advantage of this time to spray any weeds within a foot of the unit with a hearty weed killer.
- Rinse the condenser unit – The condenser is the unit that sits outside and hums along during the summer. If you look closely at it, you can see that part of the unit is made up of little metal fins that set inside a metal cage. These fins are how the unit removes the warm air from your home, so it is important to keep them clean and exposed to the open air. It is an easy process to clean them, though it can be time consuming. Simply hose down the entire unit inside and out until the water running out of it is clean.
- Check your condensation line – Another pain point for A/C units can be the condensation line. Even though you may use this when your heater is running, much more humidity is removed in the warmer months, so a problem may not be as glaringly obvious in the winter. The access will be at or near your furnace that will allow you to run a little bit of vinegar or bleach through the line to destroy algae or mildew that may build up and block the works.
- Clean your filters – You should be cleaning or replacing your filters at least once every 3 months but sometimes we can forget and that slips a bit in the winter. Check your filter for any discoloration or visible dirt and clean or discard it, depending on the type you have. Repeat this monthly through the summer for optimal air flow to your unit.
If you need help connecting with a great HVAC company just give us a ring. We know and can recommend professionals for this and all types of help around your home.