Before you know it, the weather is going to warm up, and you’ll want to fire up your air conditioner. Before you do, you need to realize that you can’t just turn the thing on full blast and expect it to work flawlessly all summer. Sure, your HVAC unit has been blasting out the hot air all winter, and now that it’s going to be blowing cold air you probably think it’s just a matter of turning it to “cold,” but you need to do a little more than that. Here’s what you need to do to get your HVAC ready for the hot weather.
You should be changing your filter on a regular basis year round, but it’s extremely important to keep up with this when your HVAC is working especially hard—meaning summer and winter. To start off the summer right, get yourself a new, high quality filter.
Clean Up Around the Condenser
The AC condenser is located outside of your house. If you allow weeds, grass, or trash to build up around the unit’s condenser, you’re just asking for trouble. Turn your system off and sweep away any dust, dirt, or debris. Also, pull or cut away any vegetation from the condenser so that the unit can function as needed. Then, use a dry cloth to wipe away some of the dust. You can purchase some specialty cleaners for your AC unit, but, in most cases, you don’t need to. If your system is filthy, clean it with a hose that has good pressure. Generally, your standard outdoor hose with a gardening sprayer attachment works fine. Make sure the system is off before you spray it with the hose. Turn off the power from the fuse box. Once you spray it down, turn the power back on. Don’t worry about drying it. The unit can air dry no problem.
Get Your Ducts in a Row
Make sure that there’s nothing blocking the air flow coming out of the registers around your home, and clean off any dust or dirt on the covers. It doesn’t hurt to open them and make sure nothing is inside the ductwork, particularly if you have pets or children. If you see mold, contact a professional to do a thorough duct cleaning.
Secondly, check the ducts that run through your attic or basement. Make sure that all the connections are airtight and that there isn’t any damage to any of the ducts. You don’t want to lose cool air, which wastes energy and makes your HVAC system work harder than it should to keep your home cool.
Bring Out the Pros
Your HVAC should be professionally serviced at least once a year, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone come out more often. A professional will be able to make sure that your HVAC unit will be able to blow cold air all summer long. Schedule your service appointment before things heat up and everyone else is having problems with their air conditioning. A little preventive professional maintenance will ensure that your unit continues to work and will probably save you some money in the long run.