Things tend to heat up quickly in Central Texas, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about your air conditioner before temperatures are back in the 90s. Many homeowners expect to simply switch their A/C back on and go about their business. However, to keep your A/C in the best shape, a little preparation before summer can go a long way.
Before starting any work on your air conditioner, make sure that the power to the system is off. This is an important safety precaution that absolutely must be taken before beginning work. You can usually turn off the power for your system from your circuit breaker. Once power has been shut off to the unit, wait at least a half hour for the charge to dissipate and avoid touching electrical components at all while working.
It’s easy for debris to gather on or around your unit’s outdoor condenser. This affects your unit’s airflow and puts unnecessary strain on the system in order to get air circulating. Before the hot weather sets in, take a few minutes to clear debris from on or around your outdoor condenser. Clear leaves and weeds from around the sides and base. In addition, make sure the outdoor condenser’s drain is clear.
Any debris that gets in through the grille that protects the fan blades on your condenser will end up clogging the condenser coils. To clean away this debris, simply remove the side and tops panels of the unit with a screwdriver (be careful as these can be heavy). Using a soft brush or the brush attachment on your vacuum, very gently clean the coils.
Remember that being too heavy handed cleaning your unit can result in damaged coils or fins that can be costly to repair. If you haven’t cleaned your unit before and have doubts, give one of our experts a call to schedule an appointment.
Sometimes when you get to evaluating your system, you may find that some pieces need more than cleaning – they need to be replaced. Here are some common parts that can need replacing after your A/C has spent the winter in disuse.
Even if it’s been weeks or months since your air conditioner was turned on, you will most likely need to replace your air filter. An air filter’s job is to protect your air from particles that reduce your air quality like dust and pet dander. You want to have air as clean as possible in your home, so it’s important to start the air conditioning season with clean filters.
The insulation for your coolant lines is less likely than an air filter to need replacement, but occasionally it will be necessary. If you take a look at the coolant lines that connect your outdoor condenser to the air handler inside, you’ll see that they are usually covered in foam tubing. This foam insulation helps protect the lines and prevent energy loss.
When this foam starts to look worse for wear, or if you notice areas of the line where the insulation is missing entirely, it should be replaced. This is simple to do. Merely purchase more insulation online or at your local hardware store and follow provided instructions to apply the insulation to the lines.
Once your system is cleaned and replacement parts installed, it’s time to test it. Make sure that your thermostat is turned to “off,” then turn power to your unit back on. Once this is done, you can turn your thermostat to “cool.” Your system is almost ready to go!
The last thing you need to do to get your air conditioner ready for the summer is to make sure you have annual maintenance scheduled. Even if your A/C seems to be running perfectly, small problems that easily go unnoticed can cause big problems once the unit is being used daily. No one wants to be caught in the summer heat with a broken air conditioner; having maintenance performed by a professional ahead of time can save you a headache trying to schedule an appointment mid-summer.
Still need to schedule your annual maintenance appointment? Contact the HVAC professionals at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning, an HVAC company in San Marcos, to make your appointment today.