Is your air conditioner ready for warm weather? As temperatures rise and you realize that you may need your AC soon, it’s important to make sure it’s ready to go. Don’t wait until the first hot day to turn on the air because if it doesn’t work, you’ll be stuck in the heat waiting for repair. As you do your spring cleaning and home maintenance, don’t forget AC maintenance. Try these 5 tips to make sure your air conditioner is ready to handle a long, hot summer.
- Change your filters. At the very least you should change your filters twice a year, and the best time to do it is in the spring when you switch from heat to AC and in the fall when you switch back to heat again. Filters are very inexpensive, but they are some of the most crucial parts of your HVAC system. Filters keep dust, dirt, debris, allergens, and other particles out of your ducts and the mechanical parts of your air conditioner and furnace.
- Inspect your vents. Walk around your home and make sure all the vents in your home are open and not blocked by any furniture, curtains, or other items. Make sure there is no dust or debris inside the vents. If there is, remove the vent cover and clean it out. If you have children, sometimes small toys fall into floor vents. If you have pets, pieces of chew toys or tufts of fur can end up in your floor vents. Ceiling vents are less likely to collect debris, but sometimes collect cobwebs that need to be cleared out.
- Inspect your outdoor AC unit. Go out to your outdoor AC unit and check its condition. Clear leaves, branches, and debris off the unit. Trim back bushes or weeds that may have grown up around it. Look for any dents or signs of damage from the long winter months. Also check to make sure the line leading from the unit into your home is insulated (usually a layer of foam insulation is wrapped around the line).
- Check your thermostat. Test your air conditioner by switching your thermostat over to cool and lower it to a cooler temperature than the current indoor temperature. You should hear your AC come on and the outdoor unit will start humming. After it runs a few minutes, walk around your home and feel for cool air coming from your vents. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, consider getting one to save energy.
- Schedule AC Maintenance. Even if your air conditioner seems to be running well when you first turn it on, this is still a good time to schedule professional AC maintenance. Your HVAC expert will perform a thorough inspection, cleaning, and tune up of your system, following an extensive checklist to make sure everything is in good working order and nothing is missed. Professional AC maintenance will improve the efficiency of your system and help you avoid unexpected costly repairs.