Mild winters have us thinking about the warm months ahead. An inspection of your air conditioner can give you a head start on any problems there may be. Checking a few things can ensure you won’t have any issues when the warm temperatures push you to switch the thermostat to cooling.
How to Prepare Central AC for Warmer Spring & Summer Months
1. Check the outdoor AC unit. To protect your AC unit, the electrical connections need to be in place. There are panels that enclose the electrical components. These panels can go missing due to wind and put the system at risk. Missing panels need to be taken care of by professionals before you start your system.
2. Inspect pipe insulation. The suction line on the unit helps provide cool refrigerant back to the compressor in the outdoor unit. If the insulation is damaged, it can lead to a loss of required cooling for the outdoor unit and can damage the system. If you need to replace any of the insulation, check the size on the copper pipe. Make sure you only insulate the larger pipe, not the smaller one.
3. Clean the outdoor AC unit area. Trash, leaves and other debris can collect on or around the outdoor unit and against the coil. Any debris on or around the coils will limit the transfer of heat.
4. Check air filters. When the seasons change, the filters need to be changed because these filters will collect dust and debris. Make sure you use the right size and make sure the airflow direction arrow on the system and the filter are going in the same direction.
5. Check the coil drainage hose. This hose is also known as the condensate line. Water will condense on the coil and drip into the tray below because the coils temperature is lower than the ambient air. If the tray fills up it will flood the unit and cause water to spill over. This line can also get knocked out of place, so check to make sure it’s in the right position.
6. Clean supply vents and return grills. These components need to be open and free of pet hair, dust and other debris that has accumulated. This will ensure that the air flow through the system is optimal.
7. Check to make sure it’s working. Once you’ve taken care of these steps you can wait for a hot day to see if you have air coming out of the indoor vents after you have started it. After just a few minutes, you should feel cool air coming out of the registers. If not, you need to turn the system off immediate and go through the checklist again. If you still don’t have any success, you can call professionals to figure out what’s going on. Do not leave the system on when it’s not running properly, or you can cause damage to the unit.