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Air Conditioning Services to Consider Before Spring

Air Conditioning
February 14, 2018

While the winter gives your air conditioning unit a break, it won’t be long before it will need to be used again. In order to ensure it’s full capabilities during the warmer months of the year, make sure to examine the unit before the excessive use.If you follow these tips, your air conditioning unit will be running well during that time of year. While these may not be all of the tips

Inspect the Unit

Before you start the system, make sure to remove the cover, coil blanket or lid of the air conditioning unit. Be sure to take a look at the outdoor unit panel. The panel itself is designed to enclose the electrical connections and must be in place to help protect you and the system. If you notice any loose or broken connections, call a qualified technician to remedy the problem.

Repair or Replace any Damages

Be aware of the following important aspects of the unit. For instance, the suction line, a large copper pipe on the outdoor unit that provides a refrigerant to the compressor. If the suction pipe has damaged insulation, there could be a loss of required coolant to the outdoor unit. There are other aspects of the unit that should be noticed. If you have any further questions, make sure to talk with a qualified technician.

Remove any Debris and Grit

Depending on where you live or what side of the house your system is located on, you might find trash or other debris blown into the coil. The system condenser coils are designed to transfer heat, and any debris limits this effect. To get the best possible performance from your system, remove this debris from the coil and surrounding area. Also, while mulching in the spring, take care to not pack mulch around the base of the unit. This is especially true for heat pumps as there’s likely a space under the unit and this should always be kept open to allow good air-flow to the outdoor unit. If you use clever methods to hide your A/C, make sure they’re not blocking air-flow.

Change the Air Filters

The change in seasons is usually a good time to replace your indoor air filters. Especially after a bitter winter where it’s likely that your indoor air filter will have gathered a lot more debris and dust than normal, you should be sure to change the filter before the cooling season. Be sure to pay attention to the airflow directions arrow on both the system and the filter — they both need to be pointing in the same direction.

Examine the Drainage Hose

This hose (usually plastic) can also be called the “condensate line”. Since the coil’s temperature is lower than the ambient air, water will condense on the coil and drip into the tray below. This condensate needs to flow to a drain or the tray will fill up and flood the unit or potentially spill water into your basement. Check to make sure the line is in the proper place, attached, and will drain to the appropriate location.

Turn on the Unit to Ensure that it Works

After going through the checklist, wait for a nice, hot day when you have some time to check the air coming out of the indoor vents for the first few minutes after starting it, and then every few hours throughout the day. After the first few minutes, you should feel cool air coming out of the registers. If no air is coming out, or if the air coming out does not feel cool, then something is wrong and you should immediately turn the system off at the thermostat.

You can go through the checklist one more time and then try it again. If the problem persists, turn the system off and call a good HVAC contractor who can examine the unit further. Leaving the system turned on when it’s not running properly can do a lot of damage. It never hurts to ask an HVAC professional to help diagnose the problems if your system is not working properly.