The Essential Plumbing Resource For Homeowners

Spring Is Here: Is Your Air Conditioner Ready?

Spring is often one of the most beautiful times of the year, but it also means that summer's blazing heat will be here soon. You might not need your air conditioner just yet, but it won't be long before you find yourself rushing into your house for a little cold relief on a hot summer day. Of course, you might be sorely disappointed if your air conditioning system isn't ready to bring those temperatures down.

While the flowers are blooming outside, it's also a perfect time to check that your air conditioner is ready for its moment in the sun. These three steps will help you de-winterize your AC and get it ready to fire up for the long summer months ahead. 

1. Clear the Condenser

Your air conditioner has an indoor and an outdoor side, and the condenser is the outdoor half of the system. Even if you're not familiar with HVAC terminology, it should be relatively easy to locate and identify the large box outside your home. This unit needs unobstructed airflow to function correctly, so one of the first jobs for the summer is making sure that it's clear.

If you use a tarp or other covering for your AC over the winter, now is the time to remove it. You will also want to clear back any weeds that may have sprouted near the condenser and remove debris within a few feet of the unit. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least one or two feet of open, unobstructed space on all sides of your condenser so it can't get pulled in.

2. Turn it On

You'll need to do a few things to ensure your AC has power and that everything is working correctly. Start by checking the service disconnect box near your condenser. This box should contain a fuse or breaker that allows you to shut the condenser off quickly. Make sure that the breaker is on or the fuse is in place and unbroken.

Now is also an excellent time to switch your thermostats to cooling mode. In addition to changing the mode, confirm that the fan setting is on "auto." The blower's auto mode only allows the blower to run while the compressor is on, which is critical to avoid pushing humid air through your home. Finally, set the thermostat down a few degrees and confirm that the system turns on.

3. Schedule a Tune-Up

Even if your system seems to be running well, spring is the perfect time to schedule a tune-up or a maintenance service—such as WILD WEST PLUMBING. This service visit will help you catch any problems before they cause your AC to stop working during the dog days of summer. Routine service visits also ensure that your system runs as efficiently as possible, saving you money on your utility bills over the long run.

It's not hard to do a little spring cleaning and maintenance on your air conditioner, but these simple steps can save you a lot of money on future repair and utility bills.