With spring in the air, it’s time to start getting your air conditioner ready for the coming warm temperatures. After months of no use, there’s a good chance things have changed within your AC. Neighborhood pests may have gotten inside, or there could be debris like sticks blocking the blades.

Before you turn your system on, give it a thorough check for any new damages or concerns. A quick, professional tune-up at the start of the season will also make sure it’s running at optimum efficiency. Here’s everything you need to know about preparing your AC for the spring season.

Remove AC Cover

Some homeowners use condenser covers or coil blankets to protect the unit during the winter. These types of covers can keep too much moisture or even pests from getting inside the AC. However, they may also limit airflow and heat transfer. All covers must be removed from the system before turning it on. You should also check for any signs of fungal growth, like mold or mildew, that may have started in recent months.

Inspect Outdoor Panels

The main part of your central AC unit is its exterior component. This is the large rectangular box that sits on an even cement slab next to your home. The unit’s sturdy panels work hard to protect the internal wiring, motors, and fan blades from inclement weather and debris. When these panels take on damage, they can let in rocks, sticks, or unsafe amounts of moisture. After removing your AC cover, examine your unit for any new visible scratches, rust, or holes.

Remove Nearby Debris

Depending on your property’s landscaping, you may have trees or shrubbery near your HVAC system. Months of unchecked growth could’ve brought these plants too close to the external unit. Rather than risk leaves or twigs getting caught in the fan blades, you should instead trim back all plant life. Make sure no other debris, like bird nests or trash, has accumulated around the base.

This is also a good time to look for new signs of pests. Animals that can sneak inside, like squirrels and raccoons, are prone to scratching the AC fins and chewing through the wiring. If you see any signs of animals near the unit, it’s safest to request an expert checkup before you turn it on.

Check Condensate Line

If you have central air and heating, these systems will typically use the same condensate line to drain away condensation. This line is often made of PVC, but some older systems may use metal. You should see it leading away from your HVAC system toward a nearby drain.

When this condensate line becomes clogged with hair or debris, the water will move backward into the system. This is one of the common causes behind leaking heating and cooling equipment. You can easily clear obstructions in this line by pouring down a mixture of vinegar and water.

Change HVAC Filter

Switch out your HVAC filter to prevent your AC from struggling with restricted airflow. Replacing this filter at the change of the season will help you remove old contaminants from your air supply. This is also a convenient time to consider upgrading the type of filter you use to suit your family’s needs better.

For example, pleated options can last longer and are more efficient at removing smaller particulates. Fiberglass filters are the most readily available choice. While they’re inexpensive, they’re not ideal if you have high air quality requirements.

Wipe Down Registers and Vents

After a long winter of accumulating debris, grime can accumulate on your vents. Ensure that every register in the home is unobstructed and free of pet hair or dirt. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove debris that’s fallen inside the ductwork. If you’re still running your furnace, consider gauging the airflow of each vent. Issues within the ducts could leave some rooms receiving less air. This problem can persist when you switch to air conditioning and may require a professional diagnosis.

Check Thermostat

When changing from heating to cooling, you should confirm that your thermostat settings are correct. If you have an older manual system, don’t forget to replace the device’s batteries. Modern, programmable thermostats may require you to input new settings depending on your schedule.

Watch out for any strange blank screens or issues with programming your preferences. A failing thermostat can take a heavy toll on your monthly energy costs. If your AC doesn’t respond to your temperature changes, there’s a chance you may need a new thermostat.

Complete a Test Run

After you’ve checked your outdoor unit, filter, and vents, you should test-run your system. Ideally, you’ll plan this run before you need your AC, so you can prepare for potential maintenance or repairs. Let the system run uninterrupted for at least a half hour. It should only take a few minutes at most for you to feel cooler air pouring into your home.

Make a note of any strange odors, functioning sounds, or airflow inconsistencies. You’ll want to make sure that the system isn’t short-cycling or continuing to run for too long. If no air is coming out or it’s not cool air, turn the system off. An AC that can’t run safely or efficiently needs immediate expert service.

Schedule Expert Maintenance

To maximize your AC’s lifespan, invest in expert preventative care. An experienced technician can skillfully check every major indoor and outdoor component of your air conditioner. They’ll examine the wiring, electrical connections, fan blades, and motors. Inside your home, they can make sure that the drain pan and condensate line are in good condition. An annual comprehensive tune-up can make a huge difference in the system’s energy efficiency and health.

Without the right training, attempting to handle your AC’s wires or capacitor could result in shocks or electrocution. Even when turned off, these components still carry a dangerous charge. Rather than risk an accident, you can instead count on a certified and highly trained technician. HVAC experts also have the experience to pinpoint early warning signs before they develop into larger concerns.

When you opt for skilled maintenance, you’re taking advantage of your technician’s extensive industry knowledge. HVAC professionals have access to high-quality tools, systems, and replacement parts. Additionally, many companies offer quality and workmanship guarantees that ensure the best results possible.

Unparalleled Local HVAC Service

At Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation, we strive to make your home comfort our top priority in Sacramento, CA. We’re committed to delivering sustainable, energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions that last. Along with our Better Business Bureau accreditation, we’re also a recognized Trane Comfort Specialist. Our team can guide you through choosing a new furnace, AC, or water heater replacement.

We also provide whole-house fan installation services and ductwork care. Keep us in mind when you need insulation help or want to switch to all-electric home comfort systems. We offer a range of rebates, specials, and financing on approved credit options. Call Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation today to schedule your AC service appointment in Sacramento.

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