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  • How to Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Spring and Summer

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  • How to Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Spring and Summer

    March 8, 2019

    how to get your air conditioner ready for spring and summer

    The weather has been all over the place recently, but one thing’s for sure — it’s gradually getting warmer. Soon, we’ll be complaining about the Texas heat.

    The Importance of Professional AC Maintenance

    If you haven’t scheduled your annual spring maintenance tune-up, we highly recommend you do so before the first hot day of the year. You don’t want to wait all spring to turn on your air conditioner only to find out that it’s not working.

    A professional AC tune-up will lower energy costs, reduce breakdowns, and improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency. You wouldn’t neglect car maintenance, so don’t neglect AC maintenance either.

    How to Prepare Your AC for Warmer Weather

    Although HVAC professionals agree that the most important thing you can do to ensure your air conditioner is running properly and efficiently is to schedule professional maintenance, there is still plenty you can do as a homeowner to supplement these efforts.

    Clean the outdoor unit

    Clear the outdoor condenser unit of debris and wash off the exterior with a garden hose.

    Over winter, your outdoor condenser unit has accumulated a lot of debris and dirt. You’ll want to make sure your condenser unit is clean before you begin using your air conditioning system.

    Remember to make sure the unit is turned off at the thermostat and power source (electrical panel) before attempting any work on the outdoor unit.

    Make sure there is a minimum 2-foot clearance around the unit. Never stack anything on top of the unit and make sure grass, shrubbery, and plants are trimmed back. The more airflow around the outdoor unit, the better.

    Straighten bent condenser fins

    If your fins are damaged on the outdoor condensing unit, you’ll want to straighten them out.

    This increases airflow and energy efficiency. Use an HVAC fin comb to straighten out damaged and bent fins. If the damage is severe or extensive, contact a professional right away.

    Upgrade your thermostat

    Install a programmable thermostat and learn how to use it for maximum efficiency.

    Programmable thermostats allow you schedule your heating and cooling to turn on and off at specific times of day. There are four main types of programmable thermostats:

    • 7-day programming —  for more erratic schedules.
    • 5-1-1 programming — one schedule for the weekdays, one for Saturday, and one for Sunday.
    • 5-2 programming — one schedule for the weekdays, and one for the weekends.
    • 1-week programming — one schedule that is repeated for every day of the week.

    Consider smart thermostats, which automatically adjust to your living patterns and preferences. You can also control them from anywhere in the world using your smartphone.Change the filter frequently

    Change your air filter every 30-60 days.

    Most air filters can simply be thrown out and replaced, but you may have one that needs to be cleaned. Regardless of your air filter type, we recommend checking your filter status every month. Make sure the HVAC system is turned off, remove the filter, and then hold it up to the light. If light cannot penetrate through the filter, it’s time to clean or replace it.

    Improve insulation

    Inspect your insulation levels and seal air leaks.

    In addition to inspecting insulation levels in your attic (ensure it is at least 8-10 inches thick) and basement, make sure you also check the air tightness around your doors and windows.

    Test for leaks by using a thin piece of toilet paper or incense stick and holding it up to areas where you suspect a leak. Seal cracks less than ¼ inch with weatherproof caulk and any holes or gaps larger than with expandable foam spray.

    Use mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape to seal leaks in your ductwork (not duct tape!). It’s also a good idea to have a professional inspect your air duct system to see if you could benefit from a duct cleaning.

    Save energy, time, and money by signing up for a home maintenance plan from the HVAC experts at Crawford Services.