Winter isn’t over quite yet, but it’s likely that you are looking forward to the warmer weather! You may not be thinking about right now, but you should be. It’s important to make sure that it’s working properly and efficiently before you actually need it. You should always have your AC professionally maintained – it will help your cooling system work more efficiently as well as increase its lifespan. However, there are a few things that you can do in between professional inspections and repairs to help keep things running smoothly.
Inspect your AC
Before you start up your equipment, there are a few things you need to do. Remove the cover and be sure to take a look at the outdoor unit panel. The panel itself 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 any further. Call a professional.
Look for any obvious signs of damage or wear and tear. 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. If you can see any areas of concern, call a professional to fix it before the warm weather arrives.
Any system that has an outdoor component should be kept clean and free of any debris. Remove dirt and leaves that may accumulate over time. It’s also important to keep your AC free of obstruction or blockages- both inside and out. To get the best possible performance from your system, remove debris often. Also, while mulching 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.
Change the Air Filters
When the seasons change, you should 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 you need to use your AC.
Check the Drainage Hose
This hose is also 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. This can lead to water damage and mold or mildew growth, so it should be taken care of immediately.
Switch on the Power!
After going through these steps, turn on your AC and see how it works! Check the air coming out of the vents for the first few minutes, and then every few hours throughout the day. A few minutes after startup, you should feel cool air coming out of the registers. If no air comes out, or the air isn’t cool, turn it off and call a professional to locate the problem.
These are a few things that you can do on your own. This doesn’t mean you’re in the clear, however. Your AC still needs professional maintenance, especially before the warm weather arrives in full force. Call Radiant Plumbing to schedule your AC maintenance and inspection today!