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How to Prepare Your AC System For Summer

Hot weather has arrived, and you turn on your air conditioner.

The expenses are high, and the air doesn’t feel as cool as it should. Is it because you forgot to perform maintenance?

You can save between 5 and 40 percent on air conditioner energy bills when you complete AC maintenance each year.

Keep reading to learn how to prep your AC for summertime.

AC Maintenance

Before you begin maintenance on your air conditioner, shut off the power.

Turn the switches in the service panel and disconnect box to shut off the outdoor condenser unit. Turn off the indoor air handler. The system switch might be in the central electrical panel or have its own panel.

Wait 30 minutes for the electrical charge to die out.

After you’ve done this, follow this checklist to prepare your AC unit.

1. Clean Air Filters

Your AC system won’t keep your house cool if the air filters are clogged. Reduced airflow entering the vents affects how well the evaporator coil works. 

The system will work harder and run longer, increasing energy costs. Also, the dirt stuck in the filters corrupts the air quality inside.

Air filters are located in the air handler. Sometimes there are air filters behind air intake vents.

Clean reusable filters twice a year. Replace disposable filters every 1 to 3 months. High-efficiency filters can last 6 to 12 months.

2. Thermostat Testing

A faulty thermostat can cause an AC system to short cycle or it may not get cool enough. 

A simple step in air conditioner maintenance is testing the thermostat.

If there’s no display screen, try replacing the batteries. A fuse could also have blown or it could be a tripped breaker.

Cleaning the inside of the thermostat with compressed air is another possible solution.

3. Condenser Maintenance

Remove leaves and other debris from the condenser unit. Clean the fan blades.

Check if the condenser coils are dirty. They’re behind the side panels and under the fan in the top panel.

Condenser coils need sufficient airflow or the exiting air won’t be as cool. Debris can also damage the system.

Clean the outside coils with a vacuum or coil brush. Vacuum the coils on the inside of the unit.

4. Airflow Leaks

A leak in your AC’s ductwork can cost you 20 percent of cool air. Check the ducts for tears, holes, or disconnections.

Space in the doors and windows can create drafts that let cool air escape. This will keep the room temperature lower and the AC will run for longer. Cover these spaces to avoid overworking the system.

5. Refrigerant Pipes

Refrigerant pipes connect the condenser unit to the air handler. They’re covered with foam insulation sleeves or tape to keep heat in.

Replace any damaged insulation sleeves. Add sleeves or tape in any uncovered places.

Hire a Professional

AC maintenance before summer will save you money and help you locate issues early.

Get your ready AC unit ready for hot weather with these tips.

These steps are doable, but some things require a professional.

Consider hiring an AC maintenance service. A professional will replenish the system’s refrigerant and more to make sure your AC system is working well.

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