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    6 steps to prepare your air conditioner for the warm weather

    Helping you get cool for the summer

    Hannah | Oneflare

    The warm weather brings about a ton of excitement and anticipation for the things that come along with it. You’ll soon be able to enjoy evenings on the patio, early morning walks, and afternoons in the sun.

    While dragging the lawn chairs out of the shed and dusting off the cooler can be quite easy, there are a few tasks around the house you’ll need to prepare for.

    Your air conditioner is something you should look into and is ready to take on the heavy workload when the heat arrives. Failing to perform a clean your air conditioner could lead to major damage in your unit that might be unfixable, not to mention the cooling vents and ductwork inside your home.

    Here is a 6-step checklist to go over before turning on your air conditioner this Summer. Not only will these steps help preserve your air conditioner, but they can also help you save money on your cooling costs:

    1. Check your air filter

    It’s recommended by most manufacturers that the air filter on your air conditioner be changed every three months or so. Read the requirements on your AC unit to know what to plan for with your specific machine.

    The air filter’s job is to collect as it enters the machine and to keep it from blowing into your home. Because of this, the filter can quickly become dirty with debris that might affect the way it operates. If you fail to change the filter at the recommended 3-month mark, this dirt could end up causing damage to your machine, affecting the quality of air that comes out on the other end, and causing your machine to overwork.

    It’s important to check your air conditioner’s filter regularly / Source: Tapair

    Even if you change the filter on time, it’s recommended to keep an eye on it every few weeks and to keep an eye out for any dirt that might accumulate. Get familiar with where your filter is and how to change it when you first purchase the air conditioner to prevent any ongoing issues in the future.

    2. Consider a programmable thermostat

    A programmable thermostat can end up saving you energy and money in the short and long-term if you decide to swap out an older model.

    How can a programmable thermostat save you money? Well, you can set it at different levels for peak hours of the day. For example, you can set it at a lower temperature around 1 p.m. every day, but relax the levels for the middle of the night when everyone is asleep and traffic is at a minimum.

    If you have ever heard your air conditioning unit turn on in the middle of the night as everyone is wrapped up in blankets and thought about the energy (and money) you’re currently wasting, then a programmable thermostat is a good investment for your home.

    3. Clean the coils

    The exterior coils on your AC unit can be affected by a similar thing to what can happen to your air filter (which we talked about above). Dirt, debris, moisture, and dust can build up on the coils and negatively affect the overall operation of the machine.

    Depending on the size of your AC unit, you can clean your coils in a few different ways. It is recommended that you hire a professional to clean the coils on your unit but, if done with care and patience, most people should be able to do it themselves.

    Use a household detergent or commercial cleaner and use a light spray to cover the coils. You can then use a hose to lightly rinse the coils. If needed, use a rag to gently clean the coils. Repeat this process until the coils are clear of debris and clean.

    4. Clean the fins

    The fins on an AC unit do two things: they keep the unit safe from damage (weather, lawnmowers, weed whackers, and more) and they move the warm air away from the machine. They are crucial in preventing your machine from overheating and keep air flowing in and out.

    You can actually purchase an AC Fin Comb that can help keep the fins clean without causing any damage. The fins are delicate so you must proceed with caution when touching them unless you want to face large AC repair costs.

    Visit your local hardware store, purchase a fin comb (if your machine didn’t come with one) and be careful when even touching the fins on your AC unit.

    Source: Split Systems Down Under

    5. Check the drain line.

    The drain line will remove any condensation that builds up in the coils and carry it away from the machine. If the drain line becomes clogged, your machine could stop working and you may need to hire someone to take a look at it.

    If you continue to check the drain line on a regular basis, you should be able to keep it moving smoothly and prevent any blockages. By flushing one cup of bleach down the drain at the start of the season (before turning it on), followed by a cup of water, it should move any small build-ups and prevent anything larger from happening.

    You should only need to do this at the start of the season and the end of the season unless you notice a blockage begins to build up.

    Contact local air conditioning experts

    6. Final check: Air vents, ductwork, and area around unit

    The final thing I recommend you do is to do a check of all the parts involved in the cooling process in your home. This final step could uncover any small damages or blockages that could lead to larger issues in the middle of the Summer when you really need your machine to work properly.

    • Is any and all exposed ductwork in working shape? Do you notice any wear or small damages?
    • Are all air vents in the home clear of items and ready to blow out cool air when the machine is turned on?
    • Is the electrical wiring in good shape with nothing exposed?

    You’re ready to ‘cool down’

    If you’ve reached this point of the article with no issues, then you should be ready to cool your home when temperatures begin to rise.

    If you notice any potential damage or blockages with your air conditioning unit, I recommend you seek out the help of an AC professional. Small issues can be fixed early on but leaving them for too long could lead to expensive repairs, or even having to replace your unit.

    Air conditioning units are expensive machines that operate at a high pace. If you continue to take care of your unit by doing regular cleaning and maintenance, then it will repay you with a steady, high-quality cooling. Failing to do this could result in frustrations and expenses you’d rather avoid.

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