How To Prepare Air Conditioner for the Summer
As the warm springtime weather comes back to greet you, it can be easy to want to start your home remodeling and landscaping goals. However, it’s important to perform your regular household maintenance to ensure that your home stays in working condition. When it comes to your home air conditioning unit, there are various tasks that you’ll need to perform to ensure that your air conditioning unit works like a charm throughout the upcoming summer months.
DIY Tasks Versus Professional Tune-Up
It’s important to take the time to realize that there are various tasks that need to be performed on your centralized home air conditioning system. If you’re a frequent DIYer, you may want to perform some of these tasks on your own to save yourself some money. However, it’s crucial to understand that some tasks require the expertise and specialized equipment that only an air conditioning servicer can offer.
For example, recharging your air conditioner refrigerant needs to be done by a professional. You’ll want to schedule a professional tune-up during the springtime months. This way, you get an appointment fast, and your air conditioning system is appropriately prepared for the upcoming scorching hot summer months.
Replace Your Air Filter
Every centralized home air conditioning system has at least one air filter. This filter works to remove unwanted airborne particles and pollutants from the air inside of your home. This makes your indoor air quality better and healthier for your family to breathe in.
You can determine the model number of the air filter that you’ll need to replace in one of two ways. You can look it up in the owner’s manual, or you can pop out the old filter and see what the model number on it is. You must match the model number in order for the new filter to fit in your air conditioning system.
When you go to purchase a new air filter, you have four main options. These include a fiberglass filter, pleated air filter, washable filter, and HEPA filter. Pleated filters tend to be the most commonly used for homeowners as they are fairly affordable and provide adequate filtering. Those with bad allergies or young children may want to invest a little more money and purchase a HEPA air filter. This filters 99.97% of all airborne pollutants from the air inside of your home.
It’s recommended to replace your air conditioner filter every three months. When you pop out your existing filter, you should hold it up to a light source. If you can see through it, then you can use it for another month. If you can’t see through it, then it’s an indication that it needs to be replaced. It’s best to check the condition of your air conditioner filter every month.
Clean and Look Over Your Vents
Throughout your home, there is a series of ductwork that allows the air in your home to travel. Each room has various vents that you can locate. There should be at least two per room, which are the return and supply vents. The grates on these vents tend to collect unwanted dirt and grime.
It’s best to pop these vents out and give them a thorough washing. While you’re waiting for them to dry, take a dry cloth and wipe out the ductwork that you have access to. You won’t be able to remove all the debris, but you’ll be able to remove some. You should schedule duct cleaning from a professional every three to five years to enhance the air quality inside of your home.
When you’re waiting on your vents to completely dry, it’s best to assess the airflow. The air will naturally flow out of the vent and into the room. See if there are any obstructions in its way. You may have pushed the couch over the vent without even realizing it. When your vent can’t freely flow, it can prevent your home from becoming adequately cool during the scorching hot summer months.
Your centralized home air conditioning system has an indoor unit. You’ll want to start by removing the fasteners from the access panel and set the panel to the side. Locate your evaporator coil and use a specialized foam cleaner from the hardware store to ensure that it gets thoroughly cleaned.
Once the stuck-on debris is removed from the evaporator coil, it’s time to focus on the drain and the drain pipe. Mix up a solution of 50% water and 50% bleach. Pour this solution down the drain pipe and the drain. This will remove loose debris and hard water build-up from your system. Go ahead and reinstall the fasteners for your access panel.
Next, it’s time to head to your outdoor compressor unit. You’ll need to remove any loose debris that is surrounding the exterior unit. It’s best to keep a two-foot radius cleared around the outdoor unit to encourage adequate airflow throughout your unit. This means trimming back any low-hanging tree limbs or overgrown shrubs.
Go ahead and remove the fasteners that are holding on the cover to the outdoor compressor unit. Move the cover to the side so that it’s out of the way. You may need to disconnect some wiring that is connected to the cover in order to completely remove it out of the way. If so, be sure to take a pic of the wiring connections to ensure that you reconnect them in the appropriate order.
Once you have the air conditioner grille cover off, it’s time to clean the condenser coil. You should be using a foaming solution that you can find at your local hardware store. Due to its exposure to the outdoor elements, the condenser coil tends to accumulate a great deal of stuck-on grime and debris. A foaming cleanser will help to easily remove that debris.
Next, grab your hose and spray out the interior of your unit. Be sure to spray out any loose debris and clean off the metal fins. As you’re cleaning the metal fins, take notice of any ones that are bent. You should utilize a pair of small pliers or a fin comb to straighten the fins back out.
If you don’t have a metal fin comb, you can pick one up at your local hardware store. They sell different sizes, so you’ll need to take out a tape measure. Count how many metal fins are in one square inch of space on your outdoor compressor unit. This will help you to choose the right metal fin comb to use on your system. Once all the metal fins are straightened back out, it’s time to put the air conditioner grille cover back on.
The last thing that you’ll want to do outside is to check to make sure that your outdoor compressor unit is level. Throw a level on top of it and see what it reads. If your outdoor unit is unlevel, it’s best to throw some gravel underneath the low corners of the concrete slab. When your outdoor compressor unit is level, it works at its most efficient level.
Quality Air Conditioner Maintenance
We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air is your premier air conditioner servicer in the Murrieta region. We provide quality plumbing, heating, and cooling installation and repairs. Simply give us a call today, and we’ll get a technician to assist you.