Preparing Your Central Air System For the Summer Months

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April 13, 2020

Preparing Your Central Air System For the Summer Months

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The summer season is almost here and that means it’s time to get your central air conditioning system ready. You’ll want to make sure your air conditioner is in tip-top shape before a very hot day arrives that takes you by surprise.

There’s nothing worse than trying to turn on your air conditioner on the first warm day of the year and finding out that it is broken or that it is unable to operate at its normal capacity.

Unfortunately, this happens to many households each year because they did not take the proper steps for spring air conditioner maintenance. Then, those homeowners are disappointed to not only find that their air conditioner doesn’t work, but also that all the HVAC system maintenance technicians are too busy to come out for a repair.

Get ahead of the game. If you want to avoid a big, sweaty surprise this summer, you need to take steps right now to prepare your home cooling system for the summer months. Doing so is quick and easy, and when the mercury hits eighty or above, you’ll be very glad you made the time for this important seasonal task. Read on to learn what to do.

Indoor Tasks to Prepare Your Central Air System for Summer

As you know, your central air system is part inside and part outside, so you’ll have air conditioner maintenance tasks on both sides of the equation. If it’s still a bit cool outside when you read this, you likely want to start with indoor maintenance first.

1. Check Your Thermostat

How old is your thermostat? Thermostats come in all shapes and sizes these days and also have a wide variety of exciting features. Most are programmable, and some are even functional via WiFi when you’re away from home. Most are easy to install on your own, too.

A new thermostat is a great investment any time a few years have passed; you’ll be amazed at what they can do today. You can save hundreds of dollars on heating and cooling each year with an updated thermostat. If yours looks like it’s a decade or more old, it’s time for a new one.

2. Clear Air Vents

Almost every home gains clutter over time and that, combined with absentminded rearranging of furniture and other items, can result in a number of blocked air vents. When you block your air vents even with lightweight items like toys or curtains, you are making your central air system work harder than it needs to when cooling your house.

Walk around your home and find the air vents in every room and make sure they are open and accessible. Doing so will not only save you money on cooling bills, but it will also increase the longevity of your air conditioner unit.

3. Unblock the Drain Line

Your central air conditioning unit has an indoor coil; it is likely located near the furnace in your basement. This coil has a drain line that can sometimes become blocked by dirt and debris. If excess water from the coil can’t drain off, it can back up and damage your walls.

To keep this drain clear, flush a cup of bleach down the air conditioning drain and then rinse it with water. This will keep the line clear and doing its job.

4. Change Your Air Filter

You should change your air conditioner filter once every three months. When did you last change yours? Chances are that you did not change it at the end of the summer last year, so now is an excellent time to do it. This will ensure that you are breathing clean air and it will help save energy, too.

Outdoor Tasks to Prepare Your Central Air System for Summer

Once the warmer days start to arrive, it’s time to head outside to do your outdoor central air maintenance. These simple tasks will help you make sure your air conditioner will be ready to go once it gets really hot out there.

1. Check for Blockage

When you go outside to visit your central air conditioning system, make sure there is no blockage around it. Just like you cleared the vents indoors, you’ll want to clear any leaves or debris that has collected around the unit during the cooler months. These things may not seem like a big deal, but even a small amount of plant matter can have a large effect on the efficiency and operation of your air conditioner.

It’s wise to check for blockage throughout the summer as well if you wish to keep your air conditioner at its best. Wind and other weather can result in the collection of debris at any time so be sure to check and clear it every few weeks at most.

2. Look for Wear and Tear

Winters can be brutal. Your air conditioning unit may look a lot different this spring than it did last fall thanks to winter weather and storms. Visually inspect the unit and make sure it is in good shape and that no panels are falling off.

Make sure the refrigerant lines are insulated; if the insulation is falling away, this can affect the level at which your central air operates. Check the electrical wires and their attachments to be sure they are connected properly. You’ll need to call a professional air conditioning technician to repair these issues safely.

Happy Cooling

All of the above steps are crucial if you want to enjoy functional and efficient central air conditioning this summer. Altogether, these steps shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two, and that time will be very well spent.

If you encounter any issues during your preparation and inspection that puzzle you or that clearly indicate a need for repairs, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to come out and help your air conditioner ready for summer; we can’t wait to hear from you.