How To Prep Your AC for Spring & Summer
When the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it’s time to start getting your air conditioner ready for spring and summer. Before you crank up the AC for the first time this year, it’s important to take the proper preparation steps.
Your system has been unused all winter, which means it’s had plenty of time to accumulate dust and debris. Starting it up right away could cause problems for your indoor air quality and overall cleanliness.
Beyond air quality and cleanliness, however, starting up your system after it’s remained dormant for so long could cause costly repair problems down the road.
Keep your system operating smoothly all spring and summer by taking these six steps before turning on the air conditioner this year.
6 Ways To Prep Your Air Conditioner for the Warm Weather
1. Remove Condenser Covers
During winter, most homeowners cover their outdoor condenser units to protect them from snow, ice, and other inclement weather that could damage their systems. Remember to remove these covers before you switch over to AC for the season.
Keeping the cover on while your air conditioner is running can severely damage your unit, so it’s a critical first step when prepping your system for the summer.
When you remove your cover, you may notice that vegetation has started to grow around your unit. Any debris around your condenser coils can disrupt the heat transfer process, making your system operate less efficiently.
Remove any problematic debris or vegetation surrounding your outdoor system before turning it on for the first time.
2. Change Air Filters
With your AC unit lying dormant all winter, it’s had plenty of time to collect dust, allergens, and other airborne debris that can affect your indoor air quality when circulated throughout the home.
Guard against dirty air by first changing your air filters. Be sure to purchase the correct type and size of air filter that’s rated for your specific air conditioner.
Once your air filters have been changed, it’s important to change them regularly throughout the season.
If you live in a single-family home with no pets, it’s recommended you change your filters at least once every 90 days. However, if you have one or more pets in the home, you may need to change your air filters more frequently, at 30- to 45-day intervals.
3. Clean Vents & Registers
Because your AC unit has acted as a magnet for dust mites and airborne contaminants all winter, it’s important to clean your vents and registers. Vacuum the supply vents to remove dust, pet hair, or other debris that may have accumulated.
Even if your home has separate supply grills for heating and cooling, it’s still recommended that you take this step to prepare your air conditioner for spring and summer.
Sometimes the dust and debris in your system is too difficult to reach through DIY means. In this case, it’s recommended that you schedule professional air duct cleaning in the spring to ensure your system is thoroughly clean and clear of harmful debris.
4. Test Your Thermostat
Homeowners tend to take their thermostats for granted, assuming they’ll always provide an accurate reading. However, just like your HVAC equipment, your thermostat needs routine testing to ensure it’s working properly.
At the beginning of each new heating or cooling cycle, you should test your thermostat to ensure it’s accurate. Do this by placing a separate thermometer near your thermostat and leaving the room for 15 minutes. When you come back, compare the readings to one another to see if they match. If they don’t, you’ll need to recalibrate your system.
It’s tempting to take the “set it and forget it” approach to your home comfort needs. However, installing a programmable or smart thermostat ahead of the warmer season can help you save tremendously on your cooling needs.
Consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat during the spring to enhance your home’s energy efficiency.
5. Turn It On
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you can finally turn on your system for the first time. Be sure to perform your first test early in the spring on a pleasant day when you can check the airflow from your vents every few hours.
If the air isn’t cool enough, you may need to turn off the system at the thermostat and ensure you’ve followed all the steps outlined above. If the air still isn’t cool after troubleshooting on your own, it’s time to contact an AC repair specialist.
6. Schedule AC Maintenance
While these DIY tips for prepping your air conditioner will help ensure a smooth transition from winter to spring home comfort, they should never be a substitute for professional maintenance.
Schedule annual AC maintenance in the early spring to ensure your system is prepared to handle your changing comfort needs. During a professional maintenance appointment, your HVAC technician will thoroughly inspect your entire system, including:
- Refrigerant levels
- Electrical connections
- Air filters
- Condenser and evaporator coils
- And much more
Scheduling professional maintenance with your trusted HVAC technician will result in amazing benefits for your system, such as an extended life span, improved efficiency, and reduced cooling expenses.
Choose HomeWorks as Your AC Maintenance Partner!
If you need an HVAC technician near the Twin Cities to help prepare your AC for the summer, look to HomeWorks to make your home work.
Our AC technicians are available 24/7 to take your call, offering the comprehensive AC tune-ups that St. Paul-area residents need to ensure their systems can last all season.