With winter on a seemingly endless loop across much of the nation, homeowners are growing even more impatient for spring to arrive. Many are already eagerly planning maintenance chores and making their shopping lists for the home improvement store. While painting the siding and pressure washing the sidewalk are certainly worthy tasks, homeowners should also remember that warm weather will soon make it necessary for their AC system to begin working around the clock.
If you are wondering what you can do to make your home air conditioning system work as efficiently and effectively as possible during the coming cooling season, here are three great suggestions.
Clean and inspect the exterior unit
The exterior component for your central air conditioning system is called the condenser. This large box-like appliance is covered with fins and vents that assist the HVAC system with proper air flow. When these openings become clogged with debris, dirt, cobwebs, rodent nests, leaves, grass, or other materials, airflow is obstructed and the entire system is forced to work much harder to overcome the problem.
Clearing away all visible debris and then vacuuming the fins and vents with a portable shop vac will help clear the openings and restore proper airflow. When cleaning the condenser, it is also important to look for damage to the wires and hoses that connect it to the rest of your cooling system.
Change the filter and check the drain
Another important spring maintenance tip for a more trouble-free cooling season is to change the HVAC filter and check the drain before flipping the thermostat setting to "cool" this spring. A clean filter assists your furnace and helps it operate more efficiently during the heating season, and the same is true for your AC system during the cooling season. Stocking some extra filters or switching to washable, reusable ones is also a good plan to ensure that the filter can continue to be changed frequently throughout the summer.
Along with changing the filter, homeowners will also want to check the drain tube and make sure it has not become clogged with dirt or debris over the past winter. If the end of the tube appears to be blocked, inserting a piece of wire or a knitting needle can help you snag and remove the obstruction.
Call for a tune-up
Your home's cooling system requires a periodic tune-up, similar to the one needed by a car or boat. To have your system thoroughly examined for wear or other issues and to make sure that coolant and pressure levels are correct, contact an air conditioning maintenance contractor in your area soon.