The days are getting longer, and the weather is beginning to warm. This can mean only one thing: summer is approaching, and you’ll soon need to turn on your air conditioner. Most people take their air conditioning systems for granted. However, there are several steps you should consider before relying on your AC for the summer.
The following recommendations will help prevent breakdowns and increase your system’s efficiency for more reliable, affordable comfort.
1. Check Your Thermostat
Checking your thermostat is one of the first things you’ll want to do before depending on your central air system. If you have an older thermostat, it might be time to invest in an upgrade. A programmable thermostat regulates the temperature on a set schedule, so your HVAC unit is using excess energy when no one is home. Not only will your AC need to work less, but you’ll also be able to save a few bucks in the process. A programmable thermostat is a small investment that can pay dividends over time.
2. Check the Drain Line
Your air conditioning system will have a drain line near the indoor cooling unit. This will allow any condensation to drain away from your system. It’s a good idea to check this drain line early in the season as it can become clogged with mildew and debris. For preventative maintenance, pour small amounts of diluted bleach down the line to keep it free of obstructions.
3. Check Your Breaker Box
If you have a split furnace and cooling system, these appliances will be on different circuits. If your air conditioning system is on a separate circuit, you’ll want to make sure that the circuit breaker is in the “On” position. Otherwise, you can turn your thermostat to cool, and it will do nothing other than circulate air.
4. Check Your Outdoor Condenser
To run at peak efficiency, you’ll want to make sure that the outdoor component of your air conditioning system is clear of any obstructions. During the fall and winter, leaves and other debris can pile up around the unit. You’ll want to clear any of this debris to maximize the airflow and efficiency of your unit. Additionally, you’ll want to remove any vines that may have grown up around your system. Here’s a good rule of thumb: allow two to three feet of clearance between the appliance and any surrounding vegetation.
5. Inspect the Refrigerant Lines
Your AC operates with a cooling agent that circulates through the system. Before starting up your system for the year, it can pay to check the coolant lines. Any cracks or holes will allow the refrigerant to escape and render your air conditioning unit useless. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that there is insulation around these lines so that it will run efficiently.
6. Change Your Filters
Your HVAC system has a filter that needs to be replaced on a regular basis. The filter catches particulates that would otherwise run through your system. Over time, dirt and debris can build up in your filter, and obstruct the airflow. This can make your air conditioning run less efficiently and more likely to freeze up. Once you replace the filter, your AC will run more efficiently, and you’ll also improve your indoor air quality because the filter will catch dust and debris that would otherwise continue circulating throughout your home.
7. Schedule a Maintenance Visit
While you can check many components of your HVAC system without help, a qualified HVAC technician should perform periodic maintenance. A technician will fix any small problems that could become bigger issues down the road. Additionally, the pro will lubricate moving parts and clean the crucial components so that it will run at peak efficiency throughout the summer. This will cut cooling costs and ensure a reliable system. Additionally, preventative maintenance can help validate your current or extended warranty.
8. Consider an Upgrade
Even the most well-maintained air conditioning system will only last 15 to 20 years. If your HVAC system is showing its age, consider replacing it before the heat of the summer hits. When you decide that a new unit is in order, you’ll want to make sure that you choose one that has a high SEER rating. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your system will be.
If you’re looking to maintain your air conditioner properly, contact Guaranteed Service. Our friendly professionals will check your unit and recommend any repairs that you might need. Give us a call today at (732) 412-1134 to set up an appointment. We look forward to serving you.