Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Summer

Filed under: Air Conditioning

iStock_000008997261_SmallIt may seem unbelievable in February, but warm weather is just around the corner! In fact, we’ve been seeing signs of spring already. Since we’ll all be using our air conditioners soon, it’s time to think about getting it ready for the warm months. The last thing you want to do is reach for the “on” switch on a really hot day, only to realize your unit isn’t working. So, before warm weather strikes, take these steps to get your air conditioner into tip-top shape.

1. Turn off the power supply. Never attempt to work on your air conditioner until you turn off the power to it.

2. Clean or replace the filters. These filters should be cleaned at least twice a year, or sooner when they begin to look dusty. Otherwise you risk re-circulating that dust back into your home. Dust in your unit will also restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.

3. Clean the condenser. Air conditioner condensers are typically located outside, which means debris can accumulate inside it. If dirt clogs the coils, it will reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency and could even cause it to break. To clean the coils, remove the protective grills, and use a very soft brush to clean them. A refrigerator coil brush or vacuum brush may be ideal for this job. Just remember not to bend the delicate fins inside the unit. If debris is particularly stubborn, use a commercial coil cleaner.

4. While you’re in there, check the drain. Make sure the drain at the bottom of the unit hasn’t become clogged with debris.

5. Clean the fan blades with a vacuum or damp rag. If the fan motor has oil ports, spray them with a little lightweight oil or WD-40.

6. Scoop any remaining debris from the bottom of the condenser.

7. Check around the outside of the condenser for any weeds or overgrowth of shrubbery that could restrict air flow. Trim back bushes or remove weeds as necessary.

8. Check the coolant lines on the outside of the unit. If the insulation is frayed or pulling apart, you will need to have it replaced.

9. Allow the inside of the condenser to dry completely. Then, make sure your thermostat is turned to the “off” position. Turn on the power supply to the unit, and then you can switch your thermostat to “cool”.

For more help with your air conditioner, give us a call at Wells Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning (951-676-7971 or 951-246-8458). We’ll be happy to give you more tips on getting your air conditioner ready for the warm months, and can make repairs or upgrades as needed.