Is Your Central Air Conditioning Unit Ready for the Summer Heat?

by Chris Long - May 3, 2018

iStock-838906580 RT

It’s easy to feel ready for the summer, especially after a long, cold winter and dreary, rainy spring.

But although you might be ready for the start of summer, that doesn’t mean your central air conditioner is as well. Your air conditioning unit might be running fine now, but is it prepared to tackle the height of summer when you’ll be running the AC non-stop?

The last thing any homeowner in Bucks County wants to deal with during a heatwave is a failing central air conditioning unit , which is why it’s important to take steps now to maintain your system.

When you do this, you’ll improve the performance of your air conditioner and save money by making your AC system more efficient.

Here are a few things to do to get started.

Replacing HVAC filter1. Clean/replace the filters

This step is simple, yet crucial. HVAC filters should be cleaned or replaced twice each year, or whenever they become clogged with dust. Not replacing your filters reduces the air flow in your home, making your system less efficient (and your energy bills more expensive).

2. Clean the outside A/C condenser coils

Usually found outside your home, your air conditioner’s coil condenser resembles a large fan in a metal box. This unit can get pretty dirty after a few seasons and will need some cleaning. Anything that disrupts the air flow will reduce efficiency.

iStock-503663020_RTYou can clean the coils by removing the panels or protective grilles around the condensers. (Make sure the power is off first.) Don’t touch any wires connected to the fan.

Clean the coils using a soft brush, taking care not to bend the fins or damage the coils. Once you’ve cleaned, vacuum the coils from the inside.

You can use a commercial coil cleaner to clear away debris that’s caked on the coils. You may need to use a hose to clear away dirt and debris from the coils but use caution when you do this.

Make sure you’re not bending the fins or spraying water on electrical components or the fan motor. To be safe, cover those areas with a plastic garbage bag. 

iStock-493797945_RT3. Clear away debris

Get rid of any leaves and debris that have collected in the base of the condenser and use a vacuum and rag to clean the fan blades. If the condenser has a drain, make sure it’s clear. Cut away any weeds or vines that might block the airflow of the air conditioning unit.

4. Inspect the coolant lines

The refrigerant lines running into your condenser will normally have a foam insulation covering to improve energy efficiency. Check to see if this insulation is missing or torn. If so, replace it with foam insulation sleeves or insulation tape.

5. Run a test

iStock-157279862_RTOnce you’re finished cleaning, power up the condenser and test your system by switching your thermostat to cool. If it looks like your air conditioning unit isn’t functioning correctly, it’s time to consult an HVAC professional.

In fact, you might decide that working with a professional from the start is your best option. Either way, All Seasons Comfort Control is ready to help.

Our experts can inspect your system and diagnose any serious problems before summer gets underway. Contact us today to schedule your AC maintenance.

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