You Don't Have To Make The Same Mistakes

I always took my home's heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.

How To Prepare Your Air Conditioner For Summer


Your air condition sits idle all winter, accumulating dust and snow, only to be turned on full blast once the temperature inches above freezing again. This long period of disuse means that your air conditioner is usually not in the best condition once the warm weather rolls around again, so in order to ensure that your air conditioning unit is working as effectively and efficiently as possible, there are a couple of things that you should do to prepare it for the summer.

Clear Off the Condenser

The first thing that you should do before you turn on your central air conditioning unit for the summer is to clean off the outside unit, also known as the condenser. This means you should remove the tarp that is covering the grille on the top of the unit, and look inside to see if any leaves or other debris has fallen in. If there is debris inside the condenser, you should take a screwdriver, remove the grille, and reach in to clear out everything inside to ensure that your unit works normally and effectively.

Inspect the Line Insulation

After you have cleared off the condenser, you should then check the lines going from the condenser into your home. There should be two lines of refrigerant, which allow for heat exchange to occur between the condenser and the unit within your home. These lines are usually made out of copper, and are wrapped in foam insulation that helps prevent a loss of cooling for refrigerant entering your home. Damaged insulation, either from wear experienced during the winter or just general age, can severely reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of your air conditioning unit. Inspect the insulation for any signs of damage or exposed sections of copper, and replace them as needed. Replacement insulation can be found at any hardware store: just look for outdoor plumbing insulation.

Change the Filters

Another extremely important thing to do before you start using your air conditioner regularly in the summer is to change the air filter. A clogged air filter will reduce the air flow of your air conditioner, and will make your unit work much harder to cool down your home, increasing your energy bills. You can find the air filter housing on the interior unit of your air conditioner. Simply slide the air filter out of the housing (you don't need any special tools to do this), and take it into a hardware store to match the size to a replacement filter, which can then  be installed by hand in turn. As a general rule of thumb, you'll want to change or at least check your air filter after every six months of use to ensure that it has not become clogged with dust and other debris.

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29 March 2017