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Preparing Your Air Conditioner for Summer

Summer is right around the corner, and there is no better time than now for preparing your air conditioner for the hot humid weather ahead.

Prepare Your Air Conditioner Now for the Hot Summer AheadTo ensure your comfort all season long, as well as keep costs in check, it’s important to check and service each air conditioner unit or heat pump before the start of hot weather every year. In most cases, it will cost you less to get a preseason checkup on your air conditioner than it will to repair the unit in the sweltering summer heat. Not to mention the discomfort you’ll experience when your system fails to cool your home properly.

While we always recommend a spring check up by our team of professionals, there are a few things you can do yourself to keep your air conditioner running.

General Air Conditioner Items to Check

After fall and winter, your heat pump or air conditioner may have accumulated dirt and debris. Take off the outer casing of the unit (disconnect the power first!) and make sure that no leaves or twigs are lodged inside. If it’s especially dirty, brush away the dirt. Be careful not to damage the coils or bend the delicate fins. You can also remove dirt with a shop vacuum. It’s not a good idea to use your hose to clean it, as you can create mud inside the machine, or get water onto the electrical components.

Air filters are essential to the working of your unit. If the filter is clogged with dirt, air will have a harder time getting through, forcing the compressor to work harder and reducing air flow and energy efficiency. Check yours often, and change them at least once every 60 to 90 days, depending on the type of filter you use.

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Check your owner’s manual to see if there are other services you should perform, such as adding lubricating oil, and any bolts or mechanical parts that you should inspect. When you’re done, replace the cover, and check the area for vines and weeds. Carefully restore power to the unit.

When the unit is on again, check for leaks in any duct-work and in seals around doors and windows. You don’t want cooled air to escape from the house, nor do you want hot air leaking in. You should also check the insulation around the coolant lines, and replace it if it is frayed or missing.

If you feel your air conditioner is not performing properly and have done all the recommended DIY servicing, it may be time to call an HVAC professional like Brown and Reaves Services. It’s not wise to work on the compressor or coolant system without training.

Next week, we’ll cover “How to Know When to Call Your HVAC Repairman.”

In the meantime, if you don’t feel up to the task of “Doing it Yourself”… give us a call to schedule your preseason air conditioner or heat pump checkup. 843-497-9867. Be sure to grab your 20% off coupon for our next service call by visiting us on Facebook!

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