Spring has finally sprung. Birds are singing, buds are sprouting, and the cold chill in the air has dissipated. With spring comes the promise of summer, and with summer, the promise of long, warm days in the sun.
When you’re done spending time out in the heat, there’s nothing more relaxing than coming home to a nice, cool home. That’s why it’s a good idea to do a bit of spring maintenance on your air conditioning. Realizing your air conditioning isn’t working properly in the middle of a heat wave is not a pleasant experience.
Fortunately, the following 5 simple tips can help you ensure that your system is ready before things get too heated.
Run your air conditioner
The simplest way to know whether or not something is working properly? Turn it on and use it. Wait until a reasonably warm spring day (or bundle up tightly), and turn the AC on. Start by listening to the outdoor unit, then wander from room to room in your home. You’ll be looking, listening, smelling, and feeling for:
- Any strange noises
- Any unusual odors
- Rooms that aren’t cooling properly
- Registers that aren’t open/are dirty
- Debris and dust being discharged around the unit
If any of those signs pop up, it may be a good idea to call someone to inspect your AC.
Change your air filer
Air filters should be changed (or cleaned, if you have a reusable filter) every 30-60 days. Many homeowners aren’t that diligent about their filters, so your springtime inspection is a good excuse to swap out your dingy, old filter for a new one.
It’s worth it – both for your health, and the health of your HVAC system. When your filter is dirty, it can’t properly absorb new particles of dust and debris. That means your system is going to suck up these particles, lowering its lifespan. Those particles will also enter the air in your home, which can trigger allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.
Check for leaks
Garlic, onions, and other alliums should also not be present in any part of your HVAC system. Save them for your cooking.
Oh, we want to check for leaks, not leeks? That makes a lot more sense.
There are some obvious places where air can leak in or out of your home. When your doors aren’t properly weatherstripped or caulking has worn away around your windows, warm air can get into your home. That warm air will cause your air conditioning to work harder.
Those are the obvious spots, but does HVAC ductwork go bad? In other words, can your metal ducts develop leaks?
Unfortunately, they can. One of the benefits from regular duct cleanings is that your technician will be able to spot any leaks. If you’re not in the market for duct cleanings, you can find leaks yourself by feeling around your ductwork while your air conditioning is running. You should be able to feel any spots where air is leaking through.
When your ducts are leaking, you can temporarily patch the leaks using duct tape. It’s best to call a technician to repair the ducts for you if you’re looking for a permanent fix.
Clean your colis
The part of your air conditioning system that’s found outside your home (if you have central air) is called the condenser. You’ll want to clean the coils of any debris. You can do this by removing any large items, like leaves, with your hands (be sure to wear gloves).
You can spray down the coils with your garden hose or blast out debris with a can of compressed air. Just be careful not to use too much force, or you could damage the system.
Schedule a tune-up
The easiest way to get your air conditioner in tip-top shape for summer? Call a professional. HVAC technicians can do all of the above for you – and a whole lot more. They can diagnose problems that the average person wouldn’t notice, by doing things like checking connections and verifying the accuracy of the thermostat.
By following the above tips, you’ll be on your way to a cool, comfortable summer in your home. And if you’re ever looking for a technician to help, check out our app!