Once winter months pass, the warm days come quickly. Preparing for those hotter spring days and soon-to-be summer days starts with checking your air conditioner system for irregularities and problems. As soon as the heat hits, your Air Conditioner (AC unit) has to work.
If you don’t already have one already, you may want to consider a new air conditioner installation before the summer hits. Spring is the perfect time to start researching what type of AC system you want for your home.
For those who already have an AC unit, these tips below go through everything you’ll need to check for air conditioner maintenance and repairs before summer temperatures strain your system completely.
Spring Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips
It’s time to take off the cover from your AC unit and start inspecting your unit for debris. Covering your air conditioning unit during the freezing winter months is a great way to protect your system.
These are some of the early spring steps that any homeowner can take to keep their air conditioning unit in tip-top shape.
1. Remove Debris Around Your AC Unit
As fall and winter days pass, dead leaves, grass, dirt, and other debris piles up around your home. Before you start up your AC, you’ll want to visually check your outdoor unit for any debris that’s stuck in the vents. It’s best to trim back plants and bushes that may be growing near your unit. If you notice any debris or grime on your coils, it’s easy to clean using a garden hose or even a vacuum attachment.
2. Clean Out Your Ducts
You likely haven’t turned on your AC in many months. For better indoor air quality, early spring is the perfect time to schedule a duct cleaning. This removes mold, dust, allergens, and other dirt that gathers during the winter months. If you suffer from allergies, then it’s important to also get the spring pollen out of your ducts. If you haven’t had a duct cleaning in a few years, you likely have dust that should be flushed out before turning your unit on.
3. Check for Signs of Damage
Was there a storm that hit your area during winter? Did snow pile up around your home? It could have affected your air conditioning system. One of the top problems is a damaged condenser. If you turn on the unit and find that it leaks more than a little amount or there is lukewarm air coming from your AC vents, it’s likely a condenser issue.
In other cases, your AC’s base may have broken or become uneven. This can throw off your AC system when you turn it on as well. If you notice any broken parts or cracked casing problems, it’s time to get air conditioner repairs from a professional technician.
4. Replace Your Thermostat
Unless your thermostat is easy to use and saves on energy costs already, you should think about getting a new, programmable thermostat that can reduce cooling and heating costs. These gadgets optimize the temperatures throughout your home, allowing you to keep your home at the right temperature when you’re at home while reducing energy costs when you’re not at home. It also reduces the wear and tear on your system.
5. Replace Your Filters
You probably already know that it’s essential to replace the filter every 30 to 60 days, depending on whether you have pets or not. Dirty filters make your AC system work harder, thus using more energy than necessary to cool down your home.
Additionally, there are newer filters that have HEPA grade allergy filters. These are high-efficiency filters that improve your air quality. If you own very furry pets that constantly get pet dander in the air, then you want an upgraded filter to keep your air quality even more clear. Other new filters have an electrostatic charge to actually attract more bacteria and dust, trapping these particles inside of the filter.
6. Reduce Air Leaks and Improve Seals
Do you have windows and doors with significant air leaks? This will cause your air conditioner to work harder and lead to higher utility costs. You may need to check for cracked or missing weather stripping around door jambs, windows, and other seals. Once your home is sealed tightly, you’ll prevent cool air from escaping and reduce the workload for your unit.
7. Conduct a Thorough Cleaning of Your Air Conditioner System
If you believe your air conditioner needs to be cleaned out completely to run effectively, then you can do this with some tools and cleaning supplies around the home. However, if you believe your unit has a serious issue, it’s best to get an air conditioner repair quote first. It could be something completely unrelated to your unit’s cleanliness.
However, here are the steps you’ll need to clean out your unit on your own.
- Choose a day in early spring when temperatures are between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Shut off the power to the unit through your breaker box or main electric panel.
- Check the outside unit, known as the condenser, which consists of the compressor, fan, coolant tubes, and cooling fins. You’ll see two tubes running to the condenser, one covered in foam and another without a cover.
- Clean the blades or fins of the condenser first. These suck in air so they’ll have debris and dirt on them usually, which reduces airflow and ability to cool down your home.
- Using a vacuum is helpful to suck out the debris and dirt within your unit. Soft brush attachments work well to clean fins and tubes.
- Check the fan motor and lubrication ports to see if they need oil. You’ll want to use a motor oil specified in your owner’s manual if these need lubrication.
If you notice any parts that are cracked or leaking, it’s best to call your AC technician to fix them before the heat picks up.
Stay Regular with Your AC Maintenance
Even if you’re preparing for an air conditioner installation, you’ll want to check that the area outside of your home is free of debris and ready for your system to be installed. Your AC technician can also help with AC replacement or repairs so you don’t have to spend a day suffering in the heat.