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9 Steps to Get Your AC Summer-Ready

While Ontario County is experiencing the perfect weather Spring has to offer, the summer heat is just around the corner. Soon you will be running your air conditioning system throughout the day in order to stay comfortable.

However, if your unit isn’t ready for the work, that could cost you a lot. Not only could you experience possible repairs and even complete replacement if your AC system is on its last legs, it can result in higher utility bills.

The following are simple steps to prepare your AC for the warm summer months:

  1. Change the filters – Considered of the most easiest, and effective, steps of AC maintenance, replacing your filters at least once a month can keep your unit running smoothly. For central air systems, the filter is typically found behind a metal panel on the face of the blower component. Unscrew the metal panel, remove the old filter, and install the new one. For window units, the filter is located on the face of the unit behind a metal or plastic panel. Keep in mind, many window units come with a permanent filter, so if you have one, take the filter out and gently clean it with a mix of water and white vinegar. Before putting the filter back in, allow it to dry.
  2. Clean the condensation lines – Clogging can occur in the pipe which carries condensation away from your AC. If the pipe gets clogged, it could back up into the air conditioner (or into your home) and you’ll have a huge mess and huge repair bill. To prevent this from happening, locate where the pipe drains out and ensure that it is properly draining. If not, use an algaecide (which can be found at pool supply stores) to clean the pipe. Algaecide is mainly used to remove algae.
  3. If you have an outside unit, remove debris – Leaves, grass, plants, and debris located close to your outside unit can hinder the performance of your AC. Before you start using your unit, mow the lawn, clear out any debris, and remove plants that block the AC.
  4. Clean the coils – During the wintertime, your AC’s outside unit has been battling the elements and collecting dust, mud, leaves, and other debris. If you don’t use a cover, all of that debris clogs up the unit, resulting in your AC running ineffectively. If your unit is lightly soiled, disconnect the power and spray down the outside of the unit with a garden hose. If your unit, purchase a commercial air-conditioner cleaner, which is available at hardware stores.
  5. Clean the fins – When you clean the fins on the outside unit, you AC will run smoother. Just use a soft brush (e.g. toothbrush or small car cleaning brush) and gently run it across each fin. Be careful not to bend the thin metal.
  6. Check the concrete slab – Once your outside unit is clean, use a level to ensure the concrete slab is level. If it is not, then the unit will have to use more power and energy to cool your home. If the slab isn’t level, pry it up using a board and add gravel underneath in small amounts until it is. Once you’re done, remove the board.
  7. Clean the evaporator – Some AC units have an accessible evaporator located above the furnace. To find out, look above the furnace for either a plenum wrapped in foil or one covered by a metal box. If you notice a metal box, you cannot access your evaporator. If you see foil, you can access your evaporator and clean it.
  8. Ensure your ductwork is not leaking – Leaking ducts can make your HVAC work harder than it should. When the ducts are properly sealed, it can generate substantial savings on cooling and heating. Keep an eye out for small holes, separated pieces, and disconnected joints. If you discover any leaks, seal them with tape that has an Underwriters Laboratories logo.
  9. Install a programmable thermostat – Having a programmable thermostat can provide significant energy savings by controlling the overall temperature of your home—even when you’re away from work. It is pretty simple to set up.

For more information or to schedule a free cost estimate for our plumbing services in Ontario County, you can either call All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical at (909) 253-0664 or contact us online today.