As the summer months approach, many of us start dreaming of long days spent soaking up the sun and relaxing in the cool breeze of our air conditioning units. However, before we can fully enjoy the relief of our AC systems, it’s crucial to ensure they are properly prepped and maintained for the upcoming season. Preparing your AC unit for summer can save you money on energy bills, prevent breakdowns, and keep your home cool and comfortable all season long. The following are some tips for getting your AC unit in top shape for the summer heat.
1. Replace or Clean the Air Filter
The filter is designed to capture dust, pollen, pet dander and other allergens that can cause respiratory problems and aggravate allergies. The filter also prevents larger debris from entering the AC unit, which can damage the components and reduce the efficiency of the system. Over time, air filters can become dirty and clogged with debris. This buildup restricts the airflow and reduces the efficiency of the AC unit, leading to higher energy bills and reduced cooling performance. A dirty air filter also puts additional strain on the AC system, which can cause components to wear out faster and require costly repairs.
Cleaning the air filter is a relatively simple process that a professional can do. A professional HVAC technician will typically remove the air filter from the AC unit, inspect it for damage and clean it using specialized tools and cleaning solutions. The technician will then reinstall the filter and test the system to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
It is important to note that not all air filters can be cleaned and reused. Some filters are designed to be disposable and should be replaced regularly to maintain the efficiency of the AC system. Homeowners should consult a professional HVAC technician to determine whether their air filter can be cleaned or should be replaced.
2. Clean the Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit is an essential part of the air conditioning system and is responsible for dissipating the heat absorbed from the indoor unit. The outdoor unit consists of several components, including the condenser coil, compressor, fan and refrigerant lines.
The condenser coil is the most critical part of the outdoor unit as it is responsible for removing the heat absorbed from the indoor unit. Conversely, the compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant gas and pumping it through the refrigerant lines. The fan is responsible for blowing air over the condenser coil to dissipate the heat absorbed from the indoor unit.
The outdoor unit can become dirty and clogged with debris, leaves and dust during the winter, significantly reducing its efficiency. Dirty condenser coils, for instance, can reduce the system’s airflow and heat transfer efficiency, causing it to consume more energy. Therefore, cleaning the outdoor unit before the summer season is essential to ensure that it operates at peak efficiency.
Professional AC technicians can clean the outdoor unit by following some simple steps. First, they shut off the power supply to the air conditioning unit to prevent electric shock accidents. Then, they remove the fan grill and clean the fan blades and motor using a soft brush or cloth. Next, they inspect the condenser coil for any damage and clean it using a commercial coil cleaner. The technician will also check the refrigerant lines for any leaks or damage and repair them if necessary.
3. Test the Thermostat
The thermostat is the device that controls the temperature of your home’s heating and cooling system. It works by sensing the temperature of the air around it and sending a signal to your HVAC system to turn on or off. If your thermostat is not working properly, it may not accurately sense the temperature, leading to your HVAC system running unnecessarily or not running at all.
A thermometer is one of the easiest ways to test your thermostat. Place the thermometer next to the thermostat and wait a few minutes for it to stabilize. The thermometer should read the same temperature as the thermostat. If it does not, then your thermostat may be faulty, and it is recommended that you contact a professional to repair or replace it.
Another way to test your thermostat is to turn on your HVAC system and listen for the sound of the compressor. Once you have turned on your HVAC system, wait a few minutes to ensure it has started running. You should hear the compressor turn on, and cool air should start flowing out of your vents. If your HVAC system does not turn on, then it could be due to a malfunctioning thermostat.
In addition to testing the thermostat itself, it is also important to check the wiring and connections. If the wiring is loose or damaged, then it could cause the thermostat to malfunction. You can visually inspect the wiring and connections to ensure they are tight and secure. If you notice any loose or damaged wiring, it is recommended that you contact a professional to make the necessary repairs.
4. Scheduling a Professional Tune-Up
During a professional AC tune-up, a licensed technician will thoroughly inspect the entire AC system. They will examine the condenser unit, the evaporator coils, the refrigerant lines and the thermostat to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Additionally, they will check the electrical connections, lubricate moving parts and assess the unit’s overall performance.
One of the most significant benefits of scheduling a professional AC tune-up is that it can help you save money on your energy bills. A well-maintained AC unit operates more efficiently, which means it consumes less energy and reduces your utility costs. Additionally, a tune-up can identify minor issues before they become major problems, which can save you from costly repairs or even the need for a replacement unit.
Another critical benefit of a professional AC tune-up is that it can extend the lifespan of your unit. A well-maintained AC system can last longer than one that is not adequately maintained. Regular tune-ups can prevent wear and tear on the unit, reduce the strain on its components and keep it running smoothly for years to come.
It is recommended to schedule a professional AC tune-up at least once a year, ideally in the spring before the hot summer months when the AC will be used most frequently. It is also advisable to have a tune-up done if you notice any unusual noises or odors coming from the unit, if the airflow seems weak or if the unit is not cooling as effectively as it used to. When scheduling a professional AC tune-up, hire a licensed and experienced technician familiar with your particular AC unit’s make and model. They should also be able to provide references and have positive reviews from past customers.
Get in Touch With Professionals Today!
Are you tired of feeling uncomfortable in your own home or office due to poor air quality or a malfunctioning air conditioning system? Look no further than Absolute Air, your trusted air conditioning repair provider, indoor air quality solutions and duct cleaning services. With over 30 years of experience serving the Morgantown and Pittsburgh regions, our team of skilled technicians has the knowledge and expertise to address all of your HVAC needs. Whether you are in need of quick regular maintenance or repair, we’ve got you covered. Call Absolute Air today and learn more about our services.