This is what you should know before turning on your air conditioner this spring
Spring has arrived and temperatures outside are beginning to rise. That can only mean one thing: It’s almost time to switch from relying on your home’s furnace to provide warmth to turning on the air conditioner to keep the house cool and comfortable.
But while the winter to spring transition can sometimes be as simple as flipping a switch on the thermostat, that may not be all that you need to do to make sure your home’s AC unit is in working order. In fact, we would recommend against entering the home cooling season without taking a few precautionary maintenance steps first.
This includes scheduling a service call with an experienced heating and cooling pro. In addition to that, here is what you should keep an eye on to make sure your air conditioner is ready to work as efficiently as possible this spring.
Check your filter
The first step to ensuring your home’s AC system will work as you need it to is to check the filter in your HVAC system is clean.
Now, you should be switching out these filters as necessary. Some require monthly replacement, while others can go a little longer. But no matter the time of year, a clean filter will help your system not have to work as hard to provide comfort and will help keep the air inside your home cleaner.
If your filter is clogged, then your AC may struggle to cool your home efficiently. You could also end up breathing in harmful airborne materials that the filter is too dirty to catch.
Switch ceiling fan directions
Did you know that most ceiling fans should spin in different directions depending on the season?
It’s true. In warmer months, set your fans in the house to spin counterclockwise. This pushes air back down toward you, which gives the room something of a wind chill effect with a comforting breeze.
By doing this, you may not need to use your AC as often or can keep the temperature set higher and still be comfortable in your home. This could help lower your energy bill a bit and keep your AC from working as hard to get your home cooled down to the level you would otherwise prefer.
Schedule a maintenance checkup
Home AC units are just like your car in that they can benefit from regular maintenance from a trained expert. Now would be a great time to schedule a routine maintenance checkup for your air conditioning unit before the heat of late spring and summer really arrives.
If you do this now, the qualified HVAC technician has the opportunity to look over your system and identify any potential problems. The car maintenance analogy applies just as well here, too. As with cars, minor AC issues should be addressed before they turn into major issues – or before that first 90-degree scorcher puts your AC unit through the wringer.
How an HVAC technician can help you
There are plenty of examples of those common minor problems that can harm an air conditioner’s overall performance.
For the most part, these issues may not seem very serious at first. However, even a minor problem can build up over time or be compounded by other issues into a larger overall issue.
Here are some of those problems that a qualified expert will be able to help with.
Dirt on coils and fins
As your AC unit sits outside throughout the year – even when it is not in use – dirt and other debris may build up over time. Dirt and debris that gets on the unit’s coils and fins needs to be cleaned up and cleared away. This is something that should be done periodically and a task that a technician will know to cross off their to-do list.
A unit has condenser and evaporator coils. Evaporator coils must be cleaned once a year. If they get too dirty, then they can become insulated, making it more difficult for heat to be absorbed by the coil. Condenser coils and their fins must also be cleaned once a year.
Refrigerant level is too low
Another common problem that a technician can address is a low refrigerant level. While this is a more serious problem for AC units, it is common. The unit may have a refrigerant leak somewhere, which means it won’t work properly until the leak has been fixed and the AC unit refrigerant level has been recharged.
The unit’s sensor is not working right
An experienced tech will also check the thermostat sensor to make sure it is in good working order.
Sometimes, the thermostat sensor is responsible for AC performance issues. This could be caused by an evaporator coil making contact with the sensor.
The condensate drain on an air conditioner can also be a common source of issues. From time to time, these drains can become clogged. This keeps condensation from draining away from the unit.
Regular maintenance costs less than major repairs
Don’t wait for a small problem to turn into a serious issue. These often come with high repair bills, so it’s best to avoid the headache – get your AC unit serviced this spring.
Plus, while you certainly could handle some simple cleaning tasks on your own, only an experienced technician knows the more complicated ins and outs of cooling systems.
Contact a professional for your AC needs
Planning ahead and scheduling preventative maintenance checks are always good ideas. This will be especially true when you can turn on your home’s AC unit knowing that everything is in working order and your family will not have to sweat it out.
Schedule a service call with Comfortec Heating, Cooling and Plumbing today to have one of our technicians take a look at your home air conditioning system.
And, if you ever need us in a hurry, we offer emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out and get your home HVAC and plumbing needs back in proper working condition.
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