As soon as the weather in Southwest Florida starts to heat up, you’re going to want your AC system working smoothly. A Floridian’s worst nightmare is not having their AC prepared in time for the sweltering summer months that we know so well.
The good news is that getting your AC ready for summer is simple and takes only a few quick steps that you can do yourself. If you make sure to cover these bases during spring, your system will be ready to go as soon as you need it on that first hot day.
Since it’s likely that your AC has been sitting idle for the past handful of months, it’s going to need some sprucing up before it’s ready to keep your home cool. Here’s what you can to do get your system up to speed:
- Remember: Safety First!
To avoid injury, make sure to turn off the circuit breaker before doing any work on your AC system. You should also turn off power to the condenser from the disconnect box that’s located near the unit.
- Clean or Replace Filters
If your filters look dusty or clogged, you should clean them or, better yet, replace them. If you leave dirty filters in your system, they will restrict air flow and reduce the efficiency of your unit, not to mention disperse dust into your home.
- Clean Condenser Coils
The condenser unit is typically located outside, and it consists of a large fan in a metal box with sides that look like grilles. If your condenser box was covered, you probably won’t have too much debris, but you’ll need to uncover it. If it was uncovered during the off-season, clear away leaves, debris, dirt, etc. and make sure the fan is clear.
After that, check inside the box to see if debris has clogged the radiatory-style condenser coils, and if it has, brush it away with a refrigerator coil brush or vacuum. Or, better yet, use a foaming cleanser specifically designed for these coils.
- Clear Out Debris
You’ll need to clear all leaves and debris from the base of the condenser, and, if your unit has a drain, you’ll need to make sure that’s clear too. You can clean the blower’s fan blades using a vacuum or rag, then clean any excess water from inside the unit. Don’t forget to reassemble the condenser once you’re done tidying.
You can also use a combination of bleach and water to clean the drain pipe and the drain pan to prevent backup due to clogged pipes or a clogged drain.
- Tidy Up Around the Unit
Now that you’ve got the inside and outside of your unit cleaned up, it’s time to check the area around your AC system. After you reinstall the AC grille cover, check around the unit itself for leaves, sticks, and other loose debris. If you notice any bushes or tree branches that are encroaching on the unit’s space, they’ll need to be trimmed back. There should be a 2-foot diameter of clear space around the AC unit to ensure optimal air flow.
- Straighten the Fins
The fins of your unit are small pieces that can easily bend. If they’re bent, they won’t be able to disperse heat created by the unit. To fix bent fins, you’ll need a fin comb to straighten them out.
You can find fin combs at hardware stores – but before you go, make sure to figure out the size of comb you need by using a tape measure and counting the number of fins per square inch, as that’s how combs are sold.
- Check Coolant Lines
Refrigerant tubes or pipes run from the AC’s evaporator on the air handler to the condenser on the outside, and they’re usually covered with foam coolant line insulation. You’ll want to check if the insulation is compromised, and, if it is, replace it or wrap the lines with foam insulation tape.
- Test It Out
After you’ve allowed your unit to dry thoroughly, it’s time to test it out. Turn the power to your condenser unit back on by following these steps:
- Turning your home thermostat off
- Turn on the power at the disconnect box and the main panel
- Switch thermostat to ‘cool’
- Program the Thermostat
By programming your thermostat to fit your schedule, your home can remain as energy efficient as possible. When you know you’ll be home, 78 degrees is a good temperature to set on your thermostat. When you won’t be home, consider setting it to 88 degrees.
Deep Blue Air
Deep Blue Air is the place to go for Cape Coral AC repair, maintenance, replacement, and new system installations. We care about the comfort of our customers and the efficiency of their AC systems. To learn more, contact Deep Blue Air today.