In the spring months, it’s time to get that cooling system dusted off and ready to take on the summer months ahead. Just as your car needs regular oil changes, your cooling system needs regular maintenance to keep it in good working order. If this is your first time handling a cooling system, we’re going to give you an instructional guide on how to properly take care of it.

Get Professional Maintenance Scheduled

One of the first things that you’ll want to do is call an HVAC technician to perform regular maintenance on your cooling system. They will take care of things like changing out your air filter, lubricating moving parts, checking your refrigerant level, and so much more. It’s important to remember that most cooling system manufacturers require that you get professional service at least once a year on your system to keep your warranty coverage active.

Clean Around Your Outdoor Unit

Next, you’ll want to head outside to your compressor unit. Start by removing any debris that is pushed up against the unit, like leaves. Be sure to remove the unit’s wintertime cover. You’ll want to trim back any shrubs or tree branches that are within a three-foot radius of the unit.

The unit needs to have adequate airflow around it to work efficiently. If you have a plethora of greenery nearby, you may want to consider building a small fence or barrier around your unit to protect flying debris from getting caught up against its outside. Just make sure that it sits back at least three feet from the actual unit.

Straighten Bend Fins

The metal housing on your outdoor air conditioner compressor unit has a large amount of metal fins. These are imperative to allow for maximum airflow for the unit. Unfortunately, these fins tend to be quite delicate and will bend under a little amount of pressure, such as a ball flying into it or someone leaning up against it.

Now is the perfect time to inspect your fins and see if any of them need to be bent back into position. You can use a flat screwdriver or invest in a fin comb. These combs are specifically designed to fix multiple fins at once. You can typically find them at your local hardware store.

Test Run Your System

Giving your air conditioning system a test run will help to identify if there are any problems that need to be addressed before you use the system on a consistent basis. Make sure to switch from heating to cooling mode and set your thermostat to about five degrees lower than the ambient temperature reading.

Once you hear your cooling system kick on, it’s time to check all of your supply vents. Each room will have two vents. One will supply the cold air to the room, and the other will pull warm air out of the room. You want to check each supply vent to ensure that cold air is coming out of it. If there are any obstructions in front of the vent, be sure to move them. Otherwise, they can cause restrictions, and that room may remain overly warm.

Order New Air Filters

Dirty air filters tend to be the most common efficiency killer of most air conditioning systems. These filters are designed to remove unwanted airborne particles from the air before it enters your cooling system. This not only protects your cooling system but increases the indoor air quality level inside of your home.

You should make it a priority to have at least one extra filter at your home. This way, you can check the status of your air conditioning filter and can change it if necessary. You can typically find the right filter number written on the existing filter inside your system or by asking your local HVAC professional.

Program Your Thermostat

Springtime is the perfect time to set aside a little of your time to program your thermostat. If you have a smart or programmable thermostat, you can easily set your desired temperatures for different times throughout the day and different days of the week.

For example, most homeowners will set their home thermostats to be slightly warmer during the daytime summer hours when no one is home. Then, they’ll have the temperature drop back down to a more comfortable level just before their family arrives home for the evening. This helps to save money on your electricity bill.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Another essential part of your HVAC maintenance is to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. In the summertime, your ceiling fans should be turning in a counterclockwise direction. This forces the air down onto you, which can allow your body to feel up to 10 degrees colder than it actually is in the room. This can go a long way in making you feel more comfortable and allowing you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature to save money on your utility bills.

Check Doors and Windows for Air Leaks

One of the most common ways to increase your springtime cooling bill is to have unwanted air leaks around the doors and windows of your home. Over time, the existing caulking can end up leaking and creating openings where outdoor air can flow into your home. When that hot air is constantly coming in, your air conditioning system must run overtime to compete.

It’s a good rule of thumb to run your hand around each door and window to see if you feel any airflow. If you do, you’ll want to cover that air leak with something like caulking or even weatherstripping. The tighter your house is sealed, the more cold air you’ll be able to trap inside. This means your cooling system will have to run much less to keep your family comfortable throughout the long, hot summer months.

Consider Upgrading to a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are the newest innovation for homeowners. They provide easy control of your cooling system from your smartphone. You can easily change the thermostat settings from the convenience of your smartphone. You can learn about your energy usage and ways that you can reduce it. Even better, you can be reminded to check your air filter so that your system always works efficiently.

Consider Professional Duct Cleaning

It’s commonly recommended that homeowners get their ducting cleaned every three to five years. If you’re noticing air restriction in any of your rooms or your registers just seem extremely dirty, it may be time to call for professional duct cleaning service. They can remove that unwanted buildup of debris, which goes a long way in increasing not only the operating efficiency of your cooling system but also the quality of your indoor air.

Let the Experts Help

We Care Plumbing is more than happy to assist all of our Southern California community members with top-quality cooling system maintenance. We can also help with all of your heating, cooling, plumbing, drain, and indoor air quality needs. Simply call our office today to schedule your next service appointment.

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