Spring Air Conditioning Checklist
Summer is just around the corner, which means you’re going to be switching the thermostat over from heating to cooling pretty soon. Keep your home cool and your energy bills down with this simple spring checklist of things to do before you turn the AC on, and ensure your home with comfortably cool all summer long.
1. Remove any condenser covers, coil blankets, or lids
Covers are great for keeping debris out, but if left on, they will also trap air and heat in. This can overheat and severely damage your unit, so unless you want to face hefty repair bills or have to replace your unit all together, make sure to remove any protective layers and covers from system before turning your system on.
2. Remove debris from outdoor coil
Whether you cover the unit or not, there is a chance that mud, dust, plant bits, animal fur, and other such gunk can collect and clog up the coil throughout the winter. A unit full of debris simply won’t be able to perform, so make sure the coil is clear before you turn it on.
Unplug the unit from its power source and give it a good spray down with the hose. If the hose isn’t enough, you might need to visit your local hardware store to pick up a standard commercial-grade air conditoner cleaner. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for any more debris that might collect throughout the summer.
3. Inspect the panels
The panels that cover your unit’s electrical connections are there to protect both you and the machine, so it is important to ensure that the panels are properly in place. Sometimes they can be thrown off kilter or go missing entirely and put your safety at risk. If this is the case, you should consult your HVAC technician before turning the AC on.
4. Repair or replace any damaged pipe insulation
The elements can be hard on the outdoor components of your unit, especially throughout the winter. Insulation is prone to rot, freezing, and general degradation under harsh winter conditions, so it is important to check the insulation in the spring. Damaged insulation can result in the loss of cooling for the outdoor unit which could decrease the efficiency of the system and cause major damage. If the insulation needs to be replaced, it should be addressed before the unit is turned on.
5. Change the filters:
Changing the filter is one of the easiest things you can do, yet somehow it’s also the easiest thing to overlook. When the airflow is blocked by a debris in the filter, it reduces the efficiency of your unit and increases energy consumption. Filters should be changed on a monthly basis, and the change of seasons is a great time to double check that they are clean and ready to go for a fresh start to summer.
6. Clean the condensation lines
The moist environment inside the pipes responsible for carrying condensation away from the unit makes it easy for algae and debris to collect and clog the lines. Congested lines can cause back up of moisture that can damage your air conditioner. If you notice that the pipes are not draining properly, you may need to find an algaecide from your local pool store to clean the lines.
7. Check the condensation drain
When the air conditioner is running, water will condense on the unit’s coil and create condensation drips. The drain responsible for releasing that condensation can fill with water and overflow. Prevent flooding and significant damage to your unit as well as your home by ensuring that the water drains without any leaks, and regularly checking the tray especially after particularly hot and humid days when your unit is working extra hard.
8. Clean the supply vents and return grills
All grills and vents should be free and clear of any plastic covers or household gunk for your unit to run smoothly. Dust, hair, lint can collect and settle through the winter, so giving the vents a quick vacuum is always a good idea in order to reduce any obstructions that might restrict air flow and cause greater damage to your air conditioner.
9. Turn it on and make sure it works
When everything is said and done, it’s time for the most important check—to find out if your unit still works. Turn the system on. Ensure that cool air is coming from the registers after starting it. If the air is absent or warm, turn off the system and go through your checklist. Did you miss something?
If you’re still having problems despite your efforts, turn the system off to prevent any further damage and call your trusted HVAC contractor for a diagnosis to get your AC in order before the summer heat rolls in.