When the hot summer months are upon us, it’s every homeowner’s responsibility to prep their home air conditioning system for its long job ahead. Whether you do the preparation steps yourself or you hire a professional to tackle them, it’s a good idea to understand what they involve.
Start by Changing Your Air Filters
Every air conditioner will come with one or more air filters. These filters work to remove excess dirt, debris, allergens, and pollutants from the air inside of your house. When you remove the filter, you’ll want to hold it up to a light source. If you can see through the filter, it’s good.
If you can’t see through the filter, then it’s time to replace it. You have multiple options when it comes to replacing your air filter. These include fiberglass, pleated, washable, and HEPA filters. Most homeowners opt for using pleated air filters, as they provide an adequate level of filtering at an affordable price. If you have COPD, asthma, or another respiratory condition, it’s highly advisable to spend the extra money to purchase HEPA air filters for your air conditioning system.
Clean Your Indoor Unit
You’ll want to shut off the circuit breaker for your air conditioner so that there’s no power going to it. Next, remove the access panel to the indoor unit. It will likely be held in with bolts or screws. Once the components in your indoor unit are accessible, you’ll want to start by cleaning the evaporator coil.
You can purchase a no-rinse solution at your local hardware store to remove stuck-on pollen and other indoor air pollutants. The foaming solution will drip this dirty cleaner off of the evaporator coils and into the drain pan. Once your evaporator coil is cleaned off, it’s time to move onto the drain.
There’s a drain pipe that removes the water from the air and transports it to the drain. Over time, this can get hard water buildup that prevents the flow of water through it. You’ll want to pour a bleach and water solution down the drainpipe and drain. This will help to remove that stuck-on residue. Go ahead and reinstall your access panel.
Clean Your Outdoor Unit
Next, you’ll want to head out to your outdoor air conditioning unit to clean it out. You’ll want to start with cleaning around the unit. Any loose debris like twigs and leaves should be removed from around the unit. Bushes and tree branches should be cut back a good two to three feet from around the air conditioner. This will allow adequate airflow through the unit.
Once you clean up around the outside of the appliance, it’s time to open it up. You’ll want to remove the cover screws and pull off the AC grille cover. You may need to disconnect some wiring in order to pull the cover completely off. If you do, be sure to document the wiring set up with a camera so that you know exactly how it gets reconnected when you’re done cleaning the unit.
You’ll want to start cleaning the inside of your outdoor unit with a specialized condenser coil cleaner. This is a caustic solution that will move the stuck-on debris that piles onto these coils from the harsh outside environment. Take the hose and clean off any debris on the fins. Don’t use a pressure washer, as the fins are extremely sensitive pieces.
As you’re cleaning your fins, you’ll want to take note of any of them that are bent. Using a fin comb or a simple pair of pliers, you can easily bend these fins back into their original position. The straighter the fins are, the more heat they can dissipate from your air conditioning system. Once your fins are cleaned and bent back into position, it’s time to reinstall the AC grille cover on your unit.
Program Your Thermostat
The last step in prepping your air conditioning system for the hot summer months ahead is to program your thermostat. To ensure that you’re saving as much money as possible on your power bill, it’s advisable to program your thermostat around your family’s schedule.
When you’re going to be home, the thermostat should be set at a comfortable 78 degrees. When you know that you won’t be home due to school or work, you should have your thermostat set to increase to 88 degrees. Just be sure to program your thermostat to return to a cool 78 degrees about an hour before you plan on returning home. This will help to ensure that you’re walking into a comfortable indoor environment instead of an overly warm one.
Trusted AC Services
Getting your air conditioner prepped for the long summer months ahead can be time-consuming. Having a trusted professional like those at A To Z Dependable Services who can do it for you is a must. We can also solve all of your heating, cooling, septic, and plumbing needs. If you live in Niles, OH, or a surrounding area, give us a call today.