Summer is making its annual rounds, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time to relocate your grill to its usual spot for the season, but there are a few other things to cross off the list first before you can start having fun.
Your air conditioning unit likely sat idle during the winter months. After collecting debris and leaves, your unit may need some TLC before its fully operational.
Here are six steps to prepare your air conditioning unit for the summer:
Turn Off the HVAC System
When in doubt, put safety first. Turning off the HVAC from the circuit breaker should be the first stop on your list to avoid injury.
Your unit should have a service panel that supplies power to the condenser. The condenser usually has a 240-volt disconnect mechanism near the AC unit.
This box may contain fuses, a lever, or a circuit breaker that allows you to shut down the condenser. Once you turn this off, the real work begins.
Replace or Clean the Filters
One maintenance task you won’t want to forget is changing out your furnace and air-handler filters. This is crucial to prolong the longevity of your HVAC unit, as these parts collect dust that can restrict airflow and reduce air circulation efficiency.
Air filters typically need to be changed twice a year or every six months. If the date slips your mind, consider marking it down on your calendar for a quick reminder.
Clean the Condenser Coils
After replacing the filter, you’ll want to clean the air conditioning unit’s condenser coils and fan. These components collect additional debris, but you might not have to worry about much if you covered your unit during the winter.
To clean the coils, remove the protective grilles from the condenser. While lifting the top, remain cautious of wires connected to the fan.
Use a coil brush or soft brush on a vacuum to gently clean the coils. Now would be the ideal time to inspect the expansion joints for warning signs of failure.
If you find areas in need of repair, consider contacting an HVAC service professional.
Clear Out the Debris
Clear out debris and leaves at the base of the condenser. Wipe out drains and clean fan blades using a rag or vacuum.
There may be excess water within the unit, so make sure you clear it out before reassembling everything.
Inspect Your System’s Coolant Lines
Your AC unit will have refrigerant tubes or pipes that run from its evaporator to the condenser. These lines may have a lining of foam coolant insulation.
Remember to inspect these parts to ensure the insulation is intact; otherwise, you’ll want to replace frayed parts with new foam sleeves.
Test Your Air Conditioning Unit
It’s finally time to test your freshly cleaned air conditioning unit! Once it’s dry and reassembled, turn the power back on to your condenser, and let the cooling begin.
Staying cool during the summer can’t get any easier! Using these steps, you can prepare your air conditioning unit for the season without much hassle.