Nothing is worse than turning your air conditioner on for the first hot day of summer and having it refuse to start. The reasons for this are varied, but they usually come back to one thing: not being properly prepared. Getting your air conditioner ready for summer is a simple process that you can do as part of your weekend chores on a warm Saturday afternoon. Here is what you should do:
Clean The Condenser And Filters
Many people choose to clean their condensers in the fall, once the cooling season is over. If you didn't get to it, or you live in an area where air conditioning can be a necessity long into winter this may not have been done already. If you haven't cleaned out your air conditioner in the past year, you should take care of it now, before the cooling season starts. If leaves and gunk build up inside the condenser, it won't run efficiently and will eventually break down. This hits your wallet in two ways: your energy bills and your repair costs. That makes a few hours of cleaning well worth it
Cleaning your condenser is a simple process. Once you've shut off power to the unit, remove the cover and pull out any large debris such as leaves and twigs. Your garden hose is perfect for washing away the rest of the dirt without damaging the fins. Finally, let the unit dry and replace the cover.
Have A Technician Check The Electronics And Refrigerant Levels
While you can complete many household maintenance tasks yourself, there are some things that you simply should leave to the professionals. In this case, you aren't legally allowed to handle the refrigerant within the lines without a licence. A spill can cause serious environmental harm, so this requirement is a precaution that you should abide by. The same goes for the electronics. While there aren't any laws stopping you from checking the electronics and replacing popped capacitors, the fire risk that an improper replacement represents mean that this is another job for a pro.
If you do the rest of your cleaning yourself, you don't have to make this appointment every year, although this is a good way to stay on top of the status of your HVAC system. At the very least, you should have a technician come out every few years and check these items. They can repair problems before the unit breaks down completely, and give you an update on what repairs might be required in the near future.
Turn It On And Diagnose Any Issues
The best time to try and turn on your air conditioner is while it is still cool outside. Once the cooling season starts, local HVAC technicians will be busy assisting people who waited, and you might have to wait a bit to get your unit fixed. Instead, by trying your unit when it first starts warming up outside you will know whether or not your unit needs repairs before the rush starts.
Even if you do end up calling a tech, its a good plan to at least see if you can figure out what went wrong before you make the call. Things like a tripped breaker or a broken thermostat are simple to fix without a visit from a professional technician.
Getting your air conditioner ready for summer isn't difficult, but many people still forget to do it. By checking on your unit early, you can rest assured that it will happily come on the first time it gets hot outside. If there is an issue, making an appointment early in the season will allow you to avoid the rush that happens when the first heat wave hits. For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Wright Total Indoor Comfort.