How to Tune Up Your Air Conditioner for Spring
Whenever the seasons start to change, it’s essential to make sure that your home is ready for the upcoming weather shift. For many homeowners, the gradual change to longer days and warmer weather signals a need for thorough spring cleaning. Others may start to perform much-needed repairs on the exterior of the home after the winter storms are gone. Unfortunately, there’s one major component to preparing for spring that many families forget.
Once the winter fades away, your furnace will shift back into hibernation for the coming spring season. The spotlight will shine much more brightly on your air conditioning unit as the days become hotter and more humid.
The question is, are you and your air conditioner prepared for the warm weather that lies ahead?
Before you start to run your air conditioner from sun up until sun down, you need to take a few steps to ensure that it’s in tip-top shape. Many of these tasks and chores require very little effort on your part but can pay huge dividends when it comes to the long-term life expectancy of your unit. Be sure to take a look at what you can expect to do for your spring tune-up before spring is officially here.
Change the air filter
The first and simplest thing you can do to prepare your home for spring is to change the air filter. This chore is often forgotten in the chaos of daily life, but it can make your home feel more comfortable and keep your air conditioner from working harder than it has to. A clean air filter is like a fresh start and blank slate before the spring and its associated pollen arrive.
Particularly if you have allergies, spring is a great time to install a higher quality air filter than you may use during the winter. It should be able to capture more particles, particularly those associated with dust and pollen. If you aren’t sensitive to seasonal allergies, the typical medium-efficiency air filter may work just fine.
Clear debris away from the unit
You don’t have to be an HVAC technician to take good care of your air conditioning unit on a regular basis. Many repairs could potentially be avoided by clearing out debris that collects around the unit. You can trim limbs that hang over it, dropping in leaves, seeds, and acorns throughout the year. Rake away sticks and dead leaves that clutter around the bottom of the unit.
You can even remove all of the debris that may have accumulated on the fan cage or inside the unit. Take extreme care with this suggestion, but a handy homeowner may be able to prime their unit for the spring all on their own.
First, you will need to disconnect the air conditioner from the electricity. This can vary based on the specific unit you have and the setup of your home, but it could be a flip or switch. Once the power to the unit is turned off, you can use a hose to spray the outside of the unit. Using a coil cleaner that you can find at a local home improvement store, spray the coils and allow them to soak for approximately ten minutes before rinsing again.
This is a great way to help your air conditioner run more efficiently. Performing this chore takes very little time and could even be done multiple times throughout the year to improve your energy efficiency.
Check the condensate drain line
You may find that your drain line becomes clogged over the course of a long season filled with hot days. Clearing any potential clogs can help your air conditioning unit to run more efficiently well into the future. Not all homeowners will feel comfortable checking for clogs or cleaning the condensate drain line, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
The first step is to turn off the power to the air conditioning unit. You never want to start working on a machine that has electricity running to it. Depending on your model, you may have to locate the drain line hose before you can remove it from the unit and from the drain. Check for a potential clog by attempting to run water through it.
If you do find that it has a clog, you can either suck it out using a powerful shop vacuum or dislodge it using another tool. When you’re finished, it’s recommended that you flush the line with bleach to kill any bacteria that was growing around the site of the clog. Rinse it several times with the bleach solution and then thoroughly rinse it with cold water. An unpleasant smell isn’t uncommon at this stage.
When you’re finished, you can reconnect the drain line to the drain and unit before turning the power back on.
Make sure the unit turns on
It’s hard to do anything else until you’re positive that the unit can kick on properly and cool down your home. On the first moderately warm day, it’s essential that you try to change your thermostat to force the air conditioner to start. Listen for any noises that are outside the realm of a gentle hum, including grinding, squealing, squeaking, clanging, or anything that even vaguely resembles a mechanical sound.
You will want to check your air vents to make sure that all of them have an adequate flow of cold air. Make sure that your thermostat adjusts accordingly and that your air conditioner can handle changes made to the settings.
Give everything a once-over
It should go without saying, but you need to take a few minutes to actually examine the air conditioning unit. Inspect it for signs of wear and tear or damage caused during its winter hibernation. You should be looking for any cracked parts, things that appear to be out of place, or signs of visible wear that may be in need of a repair soon. By addressing these issues immediately before spring starts, you may be able to avoid a lapse in service.
Preparing your home for spring can be an exciting time of adjusting to the warmer weather and relishing the extra hours of daylight. However, you need to make sure that your priorities are straight and you are setting your home up for success this springtime. Taking care of your air conditioning unit with a spring tune-up can pay huge dividends on your monthly cooling bills this season.
It never hurts to sign up for a maintenance plan on your HVAC system to ensure that you’re ready for spring. Our maintenance plans can give you the peace of mind you need and help to prolong the lifespan of your unit. During an annual service, we can:
- Inspect coolant levels and pressures in the unit
- Calibrate thermostats
- Inspect and thoroughly clean your unit
- Generate a comprehensive report of any upcoming repairs we see
Our maintenance plan customers also receive first priority and a discount when it comes to repairs.
You won’t want to miss out on all of the benefits that are associated with tuning up your HVAC system for the warmer weather. Get a jumpstart on cooling down your home before the scorching days of summer by tuning up your air conditioning unit on your own or with the help of our professional team.
Contact Classic Air Conditioning and Heating today to set up your spring inspection!