The school year is ending. Outdoor temperatures are rising. The days are longer. You are almost ready to start wearing flip flops full-time. All of these are signs that summer is near.
If you are like many, you wish the entire year could be filled with sunny, 70 degree days with a light breeze, just enough to keep your home cooled by opening the windows rather than turning on the air conditioner.
You know this won’t happen. You also know it is time to start preparing to battle the summer heat.
Your air conditioner is one of your best weapons in the battle against high temperatures, especially in the desert. But ask any local HVAC expert, and they will tell you there are steps you need to be taking now to ensure your weapon (your AC) is ready for battle.
Below are some actions and DIY tips you should take before you even turn on your AC for the season.
Prep Before You Turn On AC
Much of what you want to do before you turn your AC on for the first time requires simple, visual inspection. Check indoor and outdoor vents, outdoor condenser, and fans to make sure there are no obstructions that would prevent air from flowing.
Check your air filter, and if it has buildup, replace it now. Also, look at your ductwork that is exposed, and if the duct looks damaged or worn out, this could hinder efficient air conditioning. Check to make sure the system is plugged in, and electrical connections are on.
Finally, look at your wiring, refrigerant lines, and coils to make sure nothing is damaged. For example, refrigerant lines should still be insulated.
The drain lines should be clear. Our first DIY tip is to flush your drain lines to prep for summer use.
DIY TIP: Flush Your AC Drain
There is a drain near your furnace. If this drain gets clogged, your AC will not function properly. To prevent this, pour a cup of chlorine bleach down the drain. Then pour a gallon of water down the drain to flush out the bleach and all the buildup that may have accumulated.
Now you are ready to turn on your AC for the first time this season.
Prep After You Turn On AC
Once you turn on the AC, listen for any strange noises. Check to see if everything is working correctly. If you see debris flying out of a vent, or hear large clanking noises in the outdoor condenser, turn off your AC immediately. Your Phoenix-area HVAC technician will need to inspect the source of trouble.
Another part to check is the thermometer. With the AC running, is the air in your home cooling to match the temperature you set on the thermostat.
DIY TIP: Thermometers
Thermometers are advancing, and with smart technology, you can save money on new thermostats. If you find your thermometer is not reading correctly, it may be time to invest in a new one. Before you buy a new one, however, check the location of your thermometer. If it is placed in a direct line with the hot sun, it could struggle to keep up. Move your thermostat to a shaded area of your home to see if that helps with its functioning.
Know When to Call for Help
You don’t want your HVAC technician to see your home uncleaned. You don’t have the extra money to have an AC check-up. You work during the day. Your AC worked fine last year. Your AC is only a few years old.
These are some of the excuses we use to talk ourselves out of calling an HVAC pro to service the AC. Some are valid, some not. However, the benefits of an AC service far outweigh the costs of repair or replacement.
While you can do a lot of AC prep work yourself, there are times when calling your local air conditioning expert is the right decision. They are trained to spot potential problems you can’t. Rather than waiting until your AC breaks down, calling for a maintenance check now can save you money and a lot of stress (and sweat).
If you encounter any of the following symptoms, call your Arizona licensed HVAC company now.
- If you turn on the AC and you hear nothing. Air conditioners make noises, even the quiet systems.
- Lack of insulation around the coils.
- Damaged ductwork.
- Loud noises upon starting or turning off the AC.
- Strange smells when AC is running.
- Leaks, anywhere, and at any time.
- Thermometer issues.
- If removing debris around your system may damage the AC unit.
This year, let someone else handle the maintenance work so you can be confident your AC will run smoothly all summer long.