It may still be cool outside, but Spring is right around the corner! When you start your spring cleaning this year, don’t forget about your air conditioner. In order to keep it working properly and efficiently throughout the warmer months, it may need some TLC from you and Raynor Electric.
There are several things that you can do on your own to help keep your cooling system happy, but it should always be followed by a professional inspection for safety and comfort purposes. Before the heat arrives, you should consider the following to get your AC ready for Spring:
Inspect the Unit
Before you start the system, make sure to remove the cover, coil blanket or lid of the air conditioning unit. Take a peek at the outdoor unit panel, which is designed to enclose the electrical connections and must be in place to help protect you and the system. If you notice any loose or broken connections, don’t mess with it on your own. For your own safety, and the wellbeing of your cooling system, call one of our qualified technicians to come and take a look.
Remove any Debris and Grit
Depending on where you live or what side of the house your system is located on, you might find leaves, sticks, or other debris blown into the coil. The system condenser coils are designed to transfer heat, and any debris limits this effect. To get the best possible performance from your system, remove this debris from the coil and surrounding area. While mulching or gardening in the spring, take care to not pack mulch around the base of the unit. This is especially true for heat pumps as there’s likely a space under the unit and this should always be kept open to allow good air-flow to the outdoor unit. If you use clever methods to hide your A/C, make sure they’re not blocking air-flow.
Change the Air Filters
The change in seasons is usually a good time to replace your indoor air filters. Especially after a bitter winter where it’s likely that your indoor air filter will have gathered a lot more debris and dust than normal, you should be sure to change the filter before the cooling season.
Examine the Drainage Hose
This hose (usually plastic) can also be called the “condensate line”. Since the coil’s temperature is lower than the ambient air, water will condense on the coil and drip into the tray below. This condensate needs to flow to a drain or the tray will fill up and flood the unit or potentially spill water into your basement. Check to make sure the line is in the proper place, attached, and will drain to the appropriate location.
Turn on the Unit
After going through the check list, wait for a nice, hot day when you have some time to check the air coming out of the indoor vents for the first few minutes after starting it, and then every few hours throughout the day. After the first few minutes, you should feel cool air coming out of the registers. If no air is coming out, or if the air coming out does not feel cool, then something is wrong and you should immediately turn the system off at the thermostat.
The Importance of Professional Maintenance
You can go through the check list one more time and then try it again. If the problem persists, turn the system off and call a good HVAC contractor who can examine the unit further. Leaving the system turned on when it’s not running properly can do a lot of damage. It never hurts to ask an HVAC professional to help diagnose the problems if your system is not working properly. If there are any cracks, faults, leaks, or areas of concern in your cooling system, they will need to be addressed by a professional. For instance, the suction line, a large copper pipe on the outdoor unit that provides a refrigerant to the compressor. If the suction pipe has damaged insulation, there could be a loss of required coolant to the outdoor unit.
A professional inspection and tune-up will help your system in more ways that one. It will help your system work more efficiently, saving you money on your electric bill. It will also prevent any major malfunctions in the future, guaranteeing you cool comfort all summer long!
Let Raynor Electric help you stay cool this summer – call and schedule your AC inspection today!