Air Conditioning Tip from AC Express
Summer Checklist: Is Your Air Conditioner Ready?
Is it Summer already? Well, not quite. But when you're living in Austin, Texas or the surrounding areas, it can be hard to tell! Although it is still technically Spring, we have already started looking for ways to cool off. Hopefully your air conditioner has started back up for the season without issues. Either way, now is the perfect time to make sure your HVAC system is in working order and able to keep up with the demands of these long, Texas summers. Follow this checklist to learn more about what to look for to ensure your AC is in ideal shape so you don't get stuck with a hot house in the middle of this upcoming season.
1. Replace Air Filters
This is the first and easiest thing to do when maintaining your system. It is also one of the most important steps to keeping your HVAC running efficiently. If you don’t change or clean your air filter regularly, dust and dirt will build up to the point where it will obstruct your airflow. This will make it harder for your HVAC system to cool or heat your home properly, affecting both your comfort and your energy bills.
2. Clean Vents and Coils
Take the time to vacuum and clean all air vents around the home and vacuum the area outside of the HVAC unit as well. The outdoor unit is fairly easy to clean. Winter storms often leave dirt and debris in and around your outdoor HVAC components. After turning power to the system off, carefully remove any debris that has accumulated around the system or in the metal cage that surrounds the components. You can use a soft bristle brush, hose, or pressure washer to clean dirt off of the condenser coils. Also, try to constantly keep the area around your outside AC unit clean of leaves, dirt, grass clippings, etc.
3. Clean Condensate Drains
Your air conditioner actually has two functions: the first is to push cooled air into your home. The second is to remove the moisture from the indoor air. When everything’s working like it should, that moisture travels from your unit to the condensate drain line. But over time, without maintenance, drain lines may become clogged, which forces the collected water back inside the unit. Leaks may then form around the system, which can lead to considerable water damage throughout your home. To prevent these kinds of drain backups, flush the drain line with a little bit of bleach. This will also kill off mold that’s beginning to grow.
4. Check the Thermostat
Check to see that the batteries in your thermostat are in working order and dust the inside and outside of your thermostat. Make sure that it doesn’t give off any false readings by being too close to vents, windows, furniture, major appliances, or anything else that could interfere with the thermostat's ability to give an accurate temperature reading.
5. Test your Air Conditioning System
Listen for strange sounds and make sure you don’t experience any strange smells from your vents due to the air conditioner. Make sure it doesn’t switch off before reaching the desired temperature and that the fans don’t continue to run once it does.
5. Schedule Preventive Maintenance
As much as you can do by yourself with the right tools and research, there’s no real replacement for a professional’s help. A brief inspection of your system now could help keep your system running worry free through the heat of the spring and summer and is especially important for older systems. If your system is old and has endured an unusually harsh season, it might be time to call for help. A qualified technician can help you do a more thorough spring maintenance inspection to avoid a system failure in the hottest months of the year. The technician can also help address any concerns you have so let them know what you found during your own spring inspection. Summer is just around the corner!
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