Many years the weather can change quickly from winter to summer and all of a sudden it’s time to turn on the air conditioner. Before you flip that switch though there are some steps you should complete first.
- Inspect the outdoor condenser – if you covered the unit in the fall, remove the cover and clear away any debris that has accumulated on or around the condenser during the winter. The primary purpose of this inspection is to ensure there are no blockages of interior components, generally caused by leaves or vines, as well as to ensure all of the panels are securely in place. The panels are intended to enclose and protect the electrical connections.
- Clean the condenser components – the bottom of the condenser box is an area that debris tends to accumulate. Use a vacuum to remove anything in this area. The condenser coils, located inside the condenser box, should also be cleaned. First remove the side and top panels to gain access, then use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean. Be gentle as you’ll want to be sure not to bend the coil fins during cleaning. A condenser coil spray can be used to remove any stuck-on grease.
- Visually inspect the coolant lines – ensure lines are properly insulated and that there is no damage to the lines that could cause leakage. Any damaged coolant lines should be replaced by a professional.
- Replace the filter – a new pleated filter should always be installed at the start of the season. Throughout the summer months its recommended that the filter be changed once a month.
- Electrical – make sure the breaker and/or disconnect switch for the condenser is turned on. Also check the outdoor wiring for any signs of wear or damage, if damage is found contact Diamond Heating and Cooling prior to starting the AC unit.
- Inspect the drain line – there is a drain generally mounted above the furnace in the basement, it’s recommended that one cup of chlorine bleach be flushed down the drain followed by one gallon of water to keep the drain clear for the season. This drain can become clogged due to a buildup of dirt, which could result in a backup leading to water damage inside the home.
- Inspect ductwork and air vents – ductwork seams should be sealed and any damaged ductwork replaced prior to running the AC to ensure maximum efficiency. Close air vents in the basement to focus the cooled air into the main living area of the home and remove anything that could be blocking the remaining vents.
- Look at the thermostat – if the thermostat is not programmable consider replacing it to save money and energy, it’s a good idea to replace the battery in a computer-controlled thermostat at the start of the season as well.
It’s a good idea to run through this checklist now before the weather heats up. Should there be an issue with the air conditioner you’ll have time to complete any simple repairs or schedule a Diamond Heating and Cooling technician to come take a look before you really need the unit. If all this sounds overwhelming, Diamond Heating and Cooling has an AC maintenance program where we will take care of all this and more. Contact Diamond Heating and Cooling to sign up for our Silver Club.