With the temperature ups and downs seen already this year, warm weather provides us a great time to get ahead on our home maintenance. Now is the best time of the year to get your air conditioner ready for the higher temperatures. As we now know, energy prices are rapidly rising, and so are costs for goods and services. With that, ensure that your system is tuned and running as efficiently as possible when called upon this year. Here are a few tips from Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electric to get your A.C. unit ready.
#1 Clean around your A.C. Unit
Before starting the A.C. up:
- Make sure the outside unit is clear of debris and other obstacles.
- Rake away leaves or mulch that may become trapped in the grills or vents.
- Consider cutting-back plants, shrubs, or trees that block airflow around the unit.
- Remove weeds and other unwanted plant growth near the unit.
Make sure you or an A.C. technician can easily access all sides of the unit. Remove any obstacles that make it difficult to access. If you covered the unit to protect it during the winter, make sure to uncover the unit BEFORE turning your A.C. on. Failure to do so may cause severe damage to your A.C. Unit and result in a costly repair.
#2 Inspect Your Refrigerant Lines
It is essential to visually inspect the two refrigerant lines going into the house from the outside A.C. unit. The smaller line sends the refrigerant into the house while the larger one returns it to the A.C. unit. Make sure both lines are straight and undamaged. If there is any damage, call for A.C. repair immediately. Refrigerant is costly and conserving your supply will save you from added expenses if a refill is needed. The larger line of the two should have insulation wrapped around the entire run of the pipe going from the outside unit to the side of the house. This assists in keeping the refrigerant cold as it arrives at the A.C. If the insulation is damaged or missing, replace it. You can get inexpensive insulation sleeves at any hardware or home improvement center. The smaller line does not require insulation, though it will not hurt to have it in place.
#3 Change Your Air Filters
Your entire cooling and heating system requires a clean flow of air. Filters help keep dust and debris from getting into the A.C. unit. However, if the filter is clogged, airflow gets slowed down or blocked, which can cause the A.C. to work harder, a common reason for air conditioner repairs. Change air filters regularly during the winter and summer months. A good rule of thumb is once a month. Change or clean it as needed. You can purchase air filters at your local big-box store or home improvement store. It is a good idea to have a few on hand to avoid running out.
#4 Clear Your Condensate Drain
Your inside air handler has a pan beneath it with a drain attached. When warmer air hits the cooler surface of the coils, water will condensate. This water drips off into the condensate pan, then drain hose, into the floor drain, and then outside the house. If that drain is not intact or is clogged, you may have water flowing out of the pan onto the floor. Make sure the drain is firmly attached to the tray. Also, check where it comes from the house to ensure it is still intact and not blocked. Pour a small cup of water into the drain to ensure it flows freely down out of the house. If the clog persists, your professional technician may need to unclog or replace the drain for you.
#5 Clear and Clean Your Vents and Grills
Airflow restriction can cause the unit to work hard, causing excessive wear and tear and avoidable costly repairs. Walkthrough your house and locate the supply vents and return grills for your air conditioner. Remove anything obstructing them, such as curtains, furniture, and toys. Use a vacuum attachment to remove dust and debris from the vents and grills. If the inside of the ducts are dusty or show signs of mold, you need to have them cleaned. While you are cleaning the vents and grills, take a moment to assess the inside of your ducts. If you see holes or split seams, you need to have an A.C. expert make repairs. Keep in mind every opening in the vents will allow cool air to escape, driving up your energy costs.
#6 Change the Batteries on Your Thermostat
Many thermostats have a battery backup, ensuring that they work even when the electricity is off. The spring is an excellent time to change the batteries. While you are at the thermostat, take a moment to dust it. Accumulated dust can interfere with the thermostat’s ability to detect room temperature. Also, if you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, spring is the perfect time to have one installed. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically control the home’s temperature at any time, day or night. You can have the temperature higher when you are gone during the day, and have it cool down just before you get home. It will lower your energy bill without compromising your comfort.
#7 Schedule Spring Maintenance
A common cause for Kansas City air conditioner repairs is the lack of annual maintenance. Your A.C. unit requires yearly maintenance to run effectively and efficiently. The dealer who installed your central A.C. should put you on an annual cleaning schedule that goes beyond just cleaning the filters. Annual maintenance can prevent minor issues from becoming major ones. Delayed care also shortens the expected lifespan of the entire system. The technician will clean the unit, make sure it is properly calibrated, and check for any problems: Monitor all the appropriate pressures needed, energy flow, and refrigerant levels. Consider signing up for an annual maintenance program. You get a yearly tune-up for your cooling system and discounts on repairs if needed. Also, remember that most cooling and heating systems manufacturers require proof of annual professional maintenance for warranty compliance.
Time to Repair or Replace Your Broken Air Conditioner?
Call Anthony P.H.C.E. or schedule online at AnthonyPHCE.com for any A.C. problems you have. Anthony’s commitment has been serving our customers with excellence for over 70 years.