Get Your Air Conditioner Ready For Summer With These Tips

There's a good chance your A/C system has spent the entire winter under wraps. Now with warmer weather on the way, the time is right to get it in working order. By following these helpful tips, you'll be able to enjoy the cooling comfort of your A/C system without any worries.

Make a New Air Filter Your First Priority

The first thing you should do is take a good look at your A/C system's air filter. If it's dirty, swap it out with a clean air filter of the appropriate MERV rating for your unit. Leaving a dirty air filter in place not only makes your A/C system perform poorly, but it can also worsen your home's indoor air quality by leaving allergy-triggering pollutants in the air.

After you change your air filter, make a mental note to change your air filter at least every three months from now on. This will help keep your A/C system in top shape and your home's indoor air healthy.

Give Your Ducts a Thorough Cleaning

Dirty ductwork can do more than spread dust and other airborne pollutants throughout your home. It can also interfere with how your A/C system delivers its airflow. Not only does your A/C system work harder, but it also wastes energy in the process.

Use a shop vacuum with a soft brush attachment to vacuum dust and debris from the return air intake grille and the ductwork behind it. Next, vacuum each supply air register in your home. If possible, vacuum the ductwork behind the registers.

Keep in mind that there are plenty of places that your shop vacuum won't be able to reach. An HVAC technician will be able to go deeper within the vents using specialized tools. This sort of thorough duct cleaning should be done every 2 to 5 years, according to experts.

Check and Clean the Evaporator Coil

Hidden within the dark and damp confines of your A/C system, the evaporator coil can easily become home to mildew, mold and algae growth. Thoroughly inspect the coils and, if you happen to find any mold or mildew, clean the coils using one of these methods:

  • Spray the coils with a mix of warm water and mild dishwashing detergent. Allow the mixture to sit on the coil for a few minutes and then gently scrub the coil with a soft bristle brush. Take care not to scrub too hard, as you could easily damage the fragile coil fins.
  • Apply a foaming no-rinse cleaning spray on the coil according to the cleaner's instructions. Once you've sprayed the cleaner on the coil, it should eat away at the grime and organic manner and drip off the coil shortly afterwards.

In addition to the evaporator coil, you'll also want to give the condensate drip pan and drain a thorough cleaning. Disinfect both pan and drain with a little bleach or white vinegar and place a treatment tablet in the pan to prevent future mold and mildew growth. This will also prevent the pan from overflowing due to clogs and other buildup elsewhere.

Check the Outdoor Condenser Cabinet

Don't forget that your A/C system's outdoor cabinet needs a little love, too. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure it's ready to help your home tackle the summer heat:

  • If you have your condenser cabinet covered up for the winter, remove the cover and check for any signs of animal habitation. If you see any chewed or missing insulation or frayed wiring, your HVAC technician may have to make repairs before your A/C system can run.
  • Clear away any and all debris and vegetation that have accumulated around the bottom of the condenser cabinet.
  • Check the actual condenser coil for any signs of damage. If you see dirt and debris on the coil, use a garden hose to rinse it off. Just make sure the condenser cabinet is dry before turning your A/C system on.

Keep the above tips in mind as you resurrect your A/C system for the spring and summer months ahead.

For more tips or for professional assistance, contact air conditioning service companies, such as Jones Air Conditioning & Electric.