Prepare Your A/C Unit Before the Heat Rolls In
Spring can be a hectic time for a San Diego homeowner, but the annual air conditioner check up should never be left out of the (endless) to-do list of maintenance chores of the responsible homeowner. Unfortunately, most of us wait until the first heat wave to crank the old air conditioning unit, and more often than not, an unpleasant surprise awaits those who procrastinate. Local air conditioning contractors are busy during the hottest months, so to get in on the most convenient service and best air conditioning repair discounts, time your service call between March and May.
Central Air Conditioner Check List
- Physically inspect the surroundings of the air conditioning unit. Cut down shrubs and weeds, along with other plants that have sprung up around the unit. This essential step ensures that the unit will manage to suck in sufficient amounts of outside air to cool and blow inside the house.
- Turn on the air conditioning unit on the first day that the temperature hits 70 degrees in March or April, and let it run for about 60 minutes. Detecting problems and scheduling proper air conditioning repairs and even replacing a faulty unit will be painless when it is still relatively cool outside and HVAC companies are not running around from house to house tackling emergency calls.
- Check the air filter, and change it if necessary. Some air filters may need to be replaced every year, whereas permanent air filters only require annual cleaning for optimal performance. In either case, dirty filters can create a multitude of problems for an air conditioner; the unit’s energy usage will increase, while the evaporator may even ice over when a filter is allowed to accumulate too much dirt. In addition to making sure the filter is changed or cleaned, go around the unit, picking out obstructions such as leaves or debris that may be blocking parts.
- Freon level inspection: If the freon levels are low in the air conditioner, a leak is probably present and a freon recharge might be necessary to compensate the lost freon. Low freon levels significantly decrease the life of the compressor, the key component in any a/c unit, and overheating is likely.
- Tighten screws. A yearly air conditioning maintenance routine also includes checking that all screws are tightly fastened.
- Check Air Conditioner Thermostat operation. While this may sound obvious, you should also double check that the A/C thermostat is set on “cooling” mode, and the temperature is well below room temperature to automatically turn on the air conditioning unit.
- Safe air conditioning maintenance: If you encounter a problem during the air conditioner test run and you have a hunch of what may be causing the malfunction, don’t fail to follow basic safety rules that apply to any home maintenance jobs. Cut off power to the a/c unit first, and never just hose down a unit; you will run the risk of electrocution.
How to Maximize Useful Life of the A/C Unit
If you run into problems that require professional air conditioning repair service, as an early bird you are likely to get the fastest and most attentive care from a local Heating and Air Company. Routine Air Conditioning maintenance is the most economical solution to guarantee cool air blowing through your house during the summer months, but if it is time to install a brand new unit, make sure to look into energy standards and tax incentives offered to homeowners who opt for environment friendly appliances.