Prepare Your Air Conditioning Unit for Spring

Spring is the time when most home owners dust off their air conditioning units to prepare for another hot summer. After a long winter of sitting dormant, many AC units aren’t in the best shape--they may be broken, rusted, or simply dirty. Here’s how you can get yours ready for the new season.

Check Your Controls and Thermostat

On a warm day, turn your air conditioning on for a test run to make sure the system is still working correctly. Adjust the temperature up and down to make sure all the controls work. Check your thermostat to make sure it reads the correct temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, be sure to test this feature as well to make sure it is working properly. Pay attention to any unusual noises or smells that might indicate a problem with the system.

Inspect the Condenser

Winter can be especially hard on the outdoor unit, known as the condenser. These units often get clogged with leaves, weeds, and other debris and need to be cleaned out to work efficiently. They can also be banged up by snow blowers, the family dog, or rough play from your kids. Look for damage like dents, corrosion, or bent fan blades.

Change the Filter

Put in a new air filter before the summer arrives so your family will have the benefit of the cleanest air possible. Filters trap dirt and dust from the air and should be changed on a regular basis. This keeps your home smelling fresh and reduces asthma and allergy symptoms. Changing the filter is an easy job that can be done yourself in just a couple of minutes, and usually needs no tools to complete.

Look for Leaks

You should also inspect your ductwork wherever possible for damage that may have occurred over the winter. You may find small holes where air is seeping out, which can lead to a lot of wasted energy over the course of the summer. You can patch up small holes yourself, although severely damaged ducts may need to be replaced. Consider insulating your ducts as well to increase the energy efficiency of your AC unit.

Schedule Professional Cleaning

Most AC units can benefit from professional maintenance and cleaning during the spring. An air conditioning repair company can thoroughly clean out your ducts to remove dust as well as animal nests that might have been built up during the winter. They can also make sure there are no mechanical problems that might cause your system to break down over the course of the summer.