When the cold winter gives way to warm spring weather, homeowners across the country look to their air conditioners to provide their homes with comfortable temperatures on hot days. Many people assume they can just flip on their air conditioner once it gets warm out without giving it a second thought. However, your AC system is a complex machine that needs proper care to run effectively.
If you don’t know what to do before turning on your AC after winter, you can cause some serious damage to the system, leading to expensive repairs. Since your air conditioner sat inactive during the fall and winter months, some tune-ups and adjustments are necessary to ensure it operates efficiently and dependably.
At Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing, Greenwood’s air conditioner repair experts, we know the different problems that can arise without regular maintenance to your AC system. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps to take before turning on your AC for the first time this year to give you the peace of mind of knowing your system will run smoothly and reliably when you need it most. For the most dependable air conditioning maintenance and repair in Greenwood, IN, call Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing today.
Uncover the Outdoor Unit
Many homeowners choose to cover their outdoor AC units during the winter months to protect them from the elements. This practice isn’t usually necessary, but it won’t hurt the system either. However, you must remember to remove the cover before you turn on your AC once the warm season comes around.
Running your air conditioner with a cover on the outdoor condenser unit significantly restricts the airflow in the system. Running your AC this way for even a short period will cause it to overheat and permanently damage vital components.
Inspect and Clean the Outdoor Unit
The AC condenser unit collects the unwanted hot air from your home and releases it outside. If the outdoor unit has leaves and dirt all over it, it won’t be able to do its job efficiently. Before turning on your AC for the first time, remove any grass, leaves, or other debris stuck in your outdoor unit’s condenser fins.
Be sure to keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of weeds and tall grass. Prune any nearby shrubs that have begun encroaching on the space around the condenser unit. It’s best to give your outdoor unit two feet of clear space on each side for maximum airflow and efficiency.
Inspect Your Indoor AC Equipment
Once you’ve made sure your outdoor unit is clear, it’s time to ensure all the indoor components are in proper order. First, inspect all the electrical connections and check your circuit breakers to ensure they are all working and connected safely. Check your thermostat to ensure it’s working correctly and that you can program it to the desired temperature.
Inspect the refrigerant line connected to the indoor unit to ensure there’s no ice on it. Ice on the refrigerant line signifies that the evaporator coil has frozen over. A frozen evaporator coil can damage other parts of the system and cause water damage to your home.
Change the Air Filter
One of the most important things to do before you turn on your AC after the winter is to change the air filter. Air conditioning air filters need replacing every 90 days, but many people neglect them during the cold months when the AC is off. Dirt, dust, and other debris that build up in the filter suppress the airflow in the system.
Clogged air filters force the system to work harder to cool your home, raise your energy bills, and increase the likelihood of expensive repairs in the future. Putting in a new air filter at the start of the cooling season ensures that your AC system has plenty of airflow to efficiently remove heat from your home. This step is crucial for those wondering what to do before turning on their AC after the winter.
Check Your Vents and Ductwork
When you’re ready to kick on the AC in your house for the first time this year, take a few minutes to check the vents in your home first. If clothes or clutter are blocking the vents, clear it away before starting your AC. Also, make sure all the louvers on your vents are open.
If some of your vents have the louvers shut or something is blocking them, it can throw off the air pressure in your ducts and damage them. Check any visible ductwork for cracks or leaks that will decrease airflow and energy efficiency. The professional HVAC technicians at Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing can seal your ductwork and replace damaged vents to restore your AC system to peak performance.
Take Your AC for a Test Run
Once you’ve done all the other steps, you can turn on your AC. However, you must pay attention to your system’s behavior when you turn it on for the first time of the year. If your AC emits a weird smell, makes strange noises, or fails to produce cold air, something may be wrong with the system.
If these issues persist, shut off your AC and call an HVAC specialist to inspect it and make any necessary repairs.
Schedule a Maintenance Appointment
To ensure that your AC stays healthy and lasts as long as possible, you must schedule regular maintenance appointments with an HVAC technician. It’s best to have your AC serviced just before the warm season, so you know the system will work well when the time comes to start it up for the summer.
Call Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing!
If you live in Greenwood, IN, or the surrounding areas and you’re wondering what to do before turning on your AC after the winter, contact the professionals at Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing. Proper maintenance and tune-ups keep your system running stronger and longer. Click the link to learn why your air conditioner won’t stop running, and call us today at 317-754-8511 to schedule an appointment.
Brittany is a marketer, entrepreneur, and writer with previous business development experience in the home maintenance industry. She currently manages the marketing for Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing and has a passion for helping people by simplifying seemingly complicated topics related to home maintenance and repair.