Get your AC Ready for Summer
Are you enjoying your spring weather? How about those spring utility bills? Spring and Fall often give a few days of luxury where the heat is off, yet the AC has not been turned on just yet. As much as we all enjoy those days, they don’t last very long. Very soon our AC units will be on and running; the hot days of a Texas summer are just around the corner.
Spring is the perfect time for a bit of annual maintenance for your central AC unit.
A central air conditioner uses an indoor air handler and an outdoor compressor. The condenser unit is located outdoors. This is the portion of your air conditioning unit that you will want to clean and maintain. Sitting idle during the winter months, your air conditioner has been collecting leaves and other debris. That is why spring is the perfect time to do some upkeep.
NOTE: turn off the circuit breaker before working on your AC system. Turn off the power to the condenser at the service panel.
Get on a Schedule with Your Air Filters
Clean or replace your furnace or air-handler filters, at least twice per year, or whenever they begin to look clogged. Not changing the filter will restrict air flow, reducing the efficiency of your unit. Also, dust will recirculate into your home. This is not good for allergy or asthma sufferers.
What to Check on the Unit Outside
Clean the condenser coils and fan from debris. The condenser unit is a large fan in a metal box with sides that look like grilles. (If you keep your unit covered over the winter, there will be less debris.) Clear away any collected leaves or other yard rubble from around the unit. Make sure the fan is clean. Next, check inside the box. (Power must be off to the unit!) If the interior coils have any debris, use a soft vacuum brush or a coil brush, clean the coils from the outside of the unit, then the coils from the inside. Be careful not to bend the fins, damage coils or disconnect any wires. Due to the sensitivity of this unit, many people will opt to have a professional come out to ready their AC unit for summer.
Check your outside unit’s concrete slab. If it isn’t level, your AC unit will have to work harder. If not level, lift it up with solid wood or gravel.
If your unit has a drain, make sure the drain is clean. Confirm the pipe is not clogged. Clean the blower’s fan blades, clean up any excess water inside the unit. Then reassemble the unit.
Check the coolant lines. These run from your AC’s evaporator on the air handler to the condenser outside. They should be covered with a foam coolant line insulation. If any insulation is missing or deteriorating, replace it with new foam insulation sleeves or wrap the lines with a foam insulation tape.
Save Time & Money with a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t have one, install a programmable thermostat. Set it to reduce the use of AC at times when you don’t need it.
Check Your Ductwork for Leaks
Sealing ductwork can generate significant saving on heating and cooling. Seal any leaks: disconnected joints or separated pieces and small holes, with a tape carrying an Underwriters Laboratories logo. Other tapes may break down quicker.
Test Your Air Conditioning Unit
Finally, test your unit to be sure it is working efficiently. Turn the thermostat inside your home to off. Turn all power back on. Switch the thermostat to cool. If there are any problems, call your iiirth HVAC professional to do a thorough inspection and evaluation.
If you need help with any or all of these air conditioning checkpoints, iiirth is here to help. Contact us for a Dallas-area AC Maintenance check!