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5 Steps to Get Your AC Ready for Summer
March 23, 2015
OK, it’s not exactly AC weather just yet, but it will be soon. It’s officially spring, which means the days and nights will keep getting warmer and warmer. This is the perfect time to get your AC unit inspected and ready for the season. How do you do this? Just call our Maryland heating and air conditioning specialists and we’ll take care of all of the following.
Clean the Outside Condenser Unit
Before you turn anything on, make sure your outdoor AC unit is free of any debris. If you piled up your lawn furniture around it, don’t forget to remove it and ensure there is at least 2 feet of clear space around the condenser unit. Trim any low-hanging branches or overgrown shrubs if needed. If you left your AC unit uncovered over winter, it might need some spring cleaning. Wash off any dirt and debris with a garden hose—don’t use a pressure-washer because it can bend the delicate fins.
Check the Ductwork
The majority of the air duct system is hidden behind drywall, but there should be a few areas where air ducts are exposed for a visual inspection. If you have an unfinished basement or attic, examine the air ducts that run through these spaces. Look for signs of rust or damaged insulation. It’s common for various wildlife critters to seek shelter in our attics in winter—they can cause serious damage to your ductwork. When you do a test run of your AC equipment, also check for any odd smells coming out of the vents. It’s possible for animals to climb in and die inside air ducts, which may require professional cleaning.
Change the Filters
Changing filters regularly is probably the #1 recommendation we give our Maryland HVAC maintenance customers. The purpose of the filter in your HVAC system is to remove dust and debris from the air coming from return air ducts before sending it to be cooled or heated. A dirty filter can restrict the air flow and have your HVAC system working twice as hard, therefore decreasing its efficiency. It will also affect the overall air quality in your house. Depending on the type of filter your HVAC system uses, it may need to be replaced (or sometimes washed) anywhere from once a month to once every 3 months.
Tune Up Your HVAC Equipment
Over time, connections get loose, belts slip and lubricants evaporate. Even your sewing machine requires ongoing maintenance, and an HVAC system is far more complex. Seasonal maintenance is recommended to keep your HVAC equipment in its top shape. Here are some of the items on our spring HVAC maintenance checklist at Cool Breeze:
- Check operating pressures, amperage draw and settings
- Check refrigerant charge and refill as needed
- Clean and lubricate parts as necessary
- Check wiring and connections
- Inspect for leaks
- Check belts and adjust tension
Of course, it’s a simplified list, but you get the idea: we check everything to make sure there are no surprises when the first hot days roll in.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you haven’t already, replace your old thermostat with a programmable one. It’s a 10-minute job that you can probably do yourself if you are handy. A programmable thermostat will save you hundreds of dollars in electricity bills by cooling your home efficiently. Most of us have predictable daily schedules, so the comfortable indoor temperatures can be also set in advance. Raise the temperature when you are not home—cool enough for your pets, but not as cool as you like it. Then have it cool down 10 minutes before you get home from work. It’s the easiest way to manage your indoor temperature!
If you get all of the above items taken care of before the start of the cooling season, it’s less likely that you will experience issues with cooling during summer. Many people start worrying about HVAC maintenance when it starts to get hot outside and their AC won’t turn on. At that point, most experienced Maryland HVAC companies are already booked though the roof, so it may take a while until you can get an appointment.
Want Cool Breeze to prep your HVAC for summer? Give us a call or contact us online today!
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Carroll County HVAC Services: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Woodbine (21797)
Howard County HVAC Services: Columbia (21044, 21045, 21046), Clarksville (21029), Cooksville (21723), Dayton (21036), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21042, 21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Guilford (20763), Hanover (21075, 21076), Highland (20777), Marriottsville (21104), Savage (20763), West Friendship (21784), Woodbine (21797).
Montgomery County HVAC Services: Ashton (20861), Bethesda (20814, 20815, 20817), Brookville (20833), Cabin John (20818), Chevy Chase (20815), Damascus (20872), Derwood (20855), Gaithersburg (20882, 20878, 20879), Germantown (20876), Kensington (20895), Olney (20832), Potomac (20854), Rockville (20850, 20851, 20853), Silver Spring (20904, 20905, 20906)