Cold winters and hot summers wreak havoc on your HVAC system all year long. That’s why we recommend spring/fall maintenance plans with your trusted community based HVAC contractor. It’s important in this in-between time to take a good look at your air conditioner and make sure it’s ready for the impending summer season.
Before you turn off your heat for good and switch to AC, here are six things to check:
1. Inspect the outdoor unit panels
Having a system with a loose or missing panel is a recipe for trouble. Your outdoor unit panels are designed to enclose all of the connections within your system. If or when a panel is loose, call your local contractor right away.
2. Remove any unit covers or lids
Recently, AC unit covers have become more popular for homeowners. They can be useful during the winter. However, if you run your unit with the cover on, you can cause severe damage to your unit. Because often times your AC unit is outside and around the corner, homeowners can forget. Taking a trip out there can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars later on.
3. Remove any debris from the outdoor coil
Trash, debris, dirt, and leaves can clog up the coils on your outdoor AC unit. Your unit condenser coils are made to transfer heat and are limited if they become blocked for any reason. If you decide to “block” your unit from view, make sure you aren’t restricting air flow in the process.
4. Change the air filters
We recommend you check your filters once a month and change them about every three months. If you live in an area that has had a particularly rough winter, it’s more likely that your filter is ready to be changed. Once you know how quickly your home collects dust, you can determine the frequency at which you should change your filters.
5. Clean the supply vents and return grills
It would also be good to use the vacuum to remove any pet hair or dust that might have accumulated during the previous season. Some houses have separate supply grills for winter and summer, house zoning, or even have separate systems for heating and cooling. If you have a system like this, you might have put plastic over the AC vents to prevent drafts during the cold months. Remember to remove these before you turn on the AC to allow for proper air flow. Without proper air flow, your system can be severely damaged. In general, cleaning all grills at the beginning of every season is a good idea.
6. Turn it on and make sure it works
It’s time to test your system out! Once you turn it on, you should feel cool air coming from your registers. If you do not feel cool air, or any air, try it again. If that doesn’t work, something is wrong and we recommend you turn your system off immediately. After your second attempt, it’s time to call your HVAC technician to come out for a formal review of your system. Leaving your system on when it’s not properly running can create lots of problems for your system, so turn it off and wait for your technician. Hvac supplies near me