This “ Simple Tips To Get Your AC Ready for Summer “ post describes the simple steps you can do to get your AC ready for summer. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
Spring season is here, finally, and Summer is just around the corner.
When I think of summer, I think of the beach, vacation, hot weather, and high electric bill. We like to keep our A/C on 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which is what is recommended. But it doesn’t mean that our electric bill is low. No no no.
I will tell you that summer months can be brutal in terms of electricity costs. It’s brutal in that the costs are just unpredictable. I know I’m not alone when I say that we want to feel comfortable but don’t necessarily like to see the bill. Ha ha.
As I said, summer is lurking around the corner, which means that you need to get your AC ready for summer. I don’t know if it’s just me or it happens to a lot of people. But there are times that when I turned on the AC for the first time, the AC doesn’t work. Seriously, it has happened to us a couple of occasions.
Summer is the worst time to get your AC fixed. You don’t want to wait for people to come in to fix your AC while you and your family is sweating to death.
How to Get Your AC Ready for Summer
Think about the following scenario. It’s a scorching summer day. You’re extremely hot, and the fan you’ve been using is too weak now. You turn on the AC for the first time this year and, surprise! It’s not working.
It’s a horror story in the making. Though it does sound like a horror scenario, there are a couple of things you can do in time in order to prevent such a thing from happening. Read on if you want to know some tips for preparing your AC for summer!
Turn off the power to the condenser.
Usually, you will find a disconnect box next to the condenser, and it’s better to turn it off. Why should you do that? You should consider doing that for safety reasons. It’s not okay to work on the AC while it is turned on.
I have heard horrible stories of people working on their AC and got electrocuted or zapped because they didn’t turn off their AC power first before working on the AC.
Clean and/or replace the filters.
This is perhaps the easiest and, at the same time, the most important part. The furnace or the air-handler filters need to be cleaned or replaced twice a year, or whenever you feel that they get filled with dust.
If you don’t do this, the air flow will be less efficient, and you will be merely spreading dust around the home again and again. In addition to this, your AC is getting forced to work harder because the air flow is less efficient, thereby, causing your electric bill to go up. You certainly don’t want that to happen.
I was once notorious when it came to not changing our filter. Not only did some members of the family get sick because of the dust but the electric bills were high.
Clean the AC Coils on the Condenser.
Before you turn on that AC, make sure that you pay your central condenser unit a visit. It’s a simple but many tend to be overlooked at this simple step. Don’t be one of them.
The central condenser unit is usually placed outside and it looks like a huge fan placed in a metal box. Since it is placed outside, there can be la lot of things that gather there in time: debris, leaves, dust, dirt and even small pebbles. I know during the fall season, I have to check the unit almost every day to make sure that no leaves are on the unit.
The unit needs to be free from foreign objects so it can run efficiently or the way it is supposed to run. Needless to say, all this can ruin a well-functioning AC just before the summer starts.
Here are some tips when checking your AC unit:
- Visually inspect the refrigerant lines. Ensure the lines are insulated. Any problems with the insulation should be done by a professional. Don’t try to DIY because you might make the condition worse.
- Check the outdoor electrical wiring. Check the wiring if there are damage or wear. Again, if there’s any problem, it’s best to leave the repair to the professionals.
Check the Insulation.
Usually, the refrigerant pipes or the tubes that go from the evaporator to the air handler to the condenser are wrapped in a coolant insulation. If this is not working properly, there may be energy losses, and implicitly, higher costs.
As such, check if the insulation is complete and not damaged, and if it is, replace it. If you know how to check the insulation, by any means, do it. If you are not sure, I highly recommend you seek Professional help.
Generally, you may not want to touch anything that entails knowledge of the ins and outs, in this case, of the refrigerant pipes. It is best to leave the checking part of complicated tasks to the professionals.
Test the AC.
After you did all this, you should be testing your AC unit. Let it dry after you clean it up and then turn it on to test it. If you did everything right, it should be working. Don’t just assume that since you’ve done all the things you need to do, then, you don’t need to check your AC anymore because you know it will work.
Things happen and other things may be wrong. It is best to always test your AC unit.
There may still be other problems which you may not even notice especially when you don’t have a lot of experience with an AC unit or if you don’t work in the field.
If you’ve done everything you could and your AC is still not functioning, then, it is best to call in the professionals. It is extremely important to ask the help of a professional if the unit is not working. You can either get information using the old phone book or you can search online for AC companies, and you’ll find a ton of companies such as the National Air Warehouse, which will help you solving your AC unit problems.
Other tips to help you get your AC ready for summer:
- Close the drapes or blinds during the day especially on windows that get direct light. This helps your house remain cool.
- Turn your thermostat up at night and/or when nobody is in the house. You don’t need to put your AC unit to work when it doesn’t have to.
- Don’t leave your windows open especially when the AC is running. If you do, your AC unit will just continue to keep on running.
- Look at the thermostat. If it’s outdated, it might be best to replace is with newer, more efficient thermostat that will save you more money later on.
- Look the air vents around the house. Make sure there’s no object blocking the air vents.
- Check any exposed ductwork. Double check ductwork for wear as this could be a source of cooling inefficiency in your house.
- Check for air leaks. You’d want to fix these drafts to avoid cool air from coming out fast.
The summer season can be brutal especially when you need your AC unit to work but it doesn’t because it needs to be fixed. Be proactive and check your AC weeks before summer starts so you can get your AC ready for summer. Simple checks can help you determine if you need to have your AC unit fixed or not.
What are you guys doing to get your AC ready for summer? Are you going to check your unit own your own or hire a professional to do it for you?
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