As the snow begins to melt and the thermometer starts to rise, the thoughts of needing to cool our homes instead of heating them may creep into our minds. Before turning your air conditioner on for the first time this spring, there are a few items you should check off your list to ensure everything runs smooth until next fall!
Here are five tips to consider when preparing your air conditioner for the spring.
Remove Any Unit or Coil Covers
Heading into winter, it’s common for homeowners to choose to cover their outdoor AC units and coils to ensure that cold temps won’t cause any damage. But before turning your air conditioner on for the first time, remember to remove the cover. It seems like a simple thing to keep in mind, but when looking for relief from stale, warm air inside, it can be easy to forget you left a cover on the unit.
Why is this important? When you forget to remove the covers for either the unit as a whole or just on the main cooling coils, you can end up causing a fair amount of damage to the AC unit.
Clear Away Debris from the AC Unit
No amount of unit covers can keep debris away entirely. After you’ve removed any coverings, be sure to get any dead leaves, wayward grass clippings, or foliage that found its way beneath the covering out of the intake grates.
Why is this important? You want to make sure as much air can be taken in as possible to keep the AC unit working efficiently. If any blockages are present, it can cause your air conditioner to have to work just a little bit harder, which may shorten its lifespan and lead to more repairs down the line.
Change Air Filters
Once you’re done focusing on cleaning up outside, you’ll want to come back indoors and switch out the air filters in your HVAC system. After helping to clean up the air all winter with the furnace running, dust and dirt may be well packed onto the old filters. New air filters can help lower the allergens found in the air, which be important as allergens will be at their height in the spring.
Why is this important? Leaving old air filters in your home’s HVAC system before you switch to using your air conditioner can make the air quality in your home much worse. Aside from additional allergens in the air, old filters can make the air stale and dry and eventually lead your air conditioner to work harder to get air throughout the house.
Clean Both the Air Supply & Return Vents
One more area that you need to clean out is your air supply and return vents. As we keep our windows closed and keep air recirculating indoors over the winter, it’s easy for dust to accumulate on both the supply and return vents in our home, which can be a problem once we switch to our air conditioner. Using your standard vacuum, clear away any dust buildup to help air flow more freely.
Why this is important? Blockages in the supply or return vents could ultimately make it harder for your air conditioner to cool your home efficiently, resulting in higher utility bills. Additionally, block vents could slowly freeze the air conditioning coils, which will reduce your unit’s ability to its job and damage the compressor.
Reprogram Your Thermostat
It’s a small fix, but after months of having your thermostat set to heat and high temperatures, remember to reprogram the temperature settings when you switch to air conditioning. Go through each time and day setting available to you and adjust to your preferred comfort zone. If you have a battery powered thermostat, be sure to change the batteries as well if you haven’t for a few years.
Why this is important? Forgetting to adjust the temperature on your thermostat can either leave you trying to cool your house to a very low temperature – if you prefer not to overheat your home – or you can end up with a very warm house if your temperatures are set too high. This could mean having to run the AC for longer periods of time or too often, leading to higher utility bills over the spring and summer.
When in doubt, call the professionals at Controlled Comfort to get a full checkup done on your HVAC system. We go through all the same steps we’ve laid out in addition to a few others that help to keep your HVAC system running without issues for longer. Simply send us a short message or give us a call at (402)333-2775 and our team will be happy to help you get ready for the spring and summer this year!