The warm and wonderful days of summer are not far away. That means it's time to make sure your air conditioning system is ready for the challenge of cooling your home. Here are four things you need to do to prepare your AC system for summer.
Make sure all of the vents are open and unblocked.
If any of the vents are closed or blocked by furniture, your home won't cool evenly. So, take a few minutes to check each vent in your home. Sometimes the open/close mechanisms on older vents break and start "falling" into the closed position. If this is occurring, you can use a little piece of tape to hold the vent open or visit a hardware store and purchase a replacement vent.
Change your filter.
If you have a standard forced air HVAC system, your furnace and your AC unit use the same filter. So, after a long winter of heating, the filter is probably ready for a change. Pull it out of its slot and slide a new one of the same size into its place. It takes a lot of energy for an AC unit to push air through a dirty filter, so replacing it will keep your energy bills in check.
Hose off your outdoor condenser unit.
Your outdoor condenser has probably accumulated some dust and grime during the off season. Unless it's looking excessively dirty, you can clean it effectively by just giving it a thorough spray with the hose. Don't use too much water pressure – you might bend the fins. If the unit still looks dirty after this, you can hire an HVAC professional to come take it apart and give it a more detailed cleaning.
Straighten any bent fins.
Bent fins can cause an AC unit to operate less efficiently. So, take a look at your outdoor condenser unit. If any of the fins appear to be bent, use a blunt butter knife to push them back into the proper place. If a lot of fins are out of alignment, consider investing in a fin comb. These are sold at most home improvement stores and they look like big hair combs. You run them through the fins and they straighten several at a time.
Once your vents are open, your filters and unit are clean, and all of the fins are straight, your AC unit is ready to keep you comfortable all summer. For assistance, talk to a professional like Winters Heating Cooling & Indoor Air Quality.