Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing your A/C unit for the warm weather. One key element of getting through the long, hot summer is making sure your air conditioning system is ready for the hot months.
Spring is an excellent time for an A/C Maintenance check. If it’s been a few years since you’ve had it serviced, now is the time to make sure it’s in good working order. Here are four things you should check this spring:
1. Your Freon Levels
The first thing to check is your A/C unit’s levels of Freon. The Freon is a non-toxic, colorless gas used as a coolant in A/C systems. If you’re not sure if your unit was ever serviced, look at the condenser and compressor for any date tags or stickers. This will give you an idea of when the unit was last serviced by a professional.
This gas has the capability to turn into liquid under increased pressure. The amount of Freon should be between 30 and 40 pounds to keep your unit running at an optimal level. At American Comfort Experts, we are highly skilled at checking your freon levels. Contact us any time to check your freon levels. If you want to check the freon levels yourself, there are lots of tools you can use to test your freon levels at home.
2. Your HVAC System’s Return Plenum Air Filters
Your A/C system needs filters to keep dust and debris out of the inner workings and keep cool air circulating through the house. But if your A/C’s filters are dirty, they won’t get the job done right. Some systems have filters within the return plenum, usually located in the attic. Generally, you should replace them every year. You should clean them at least once a month to keep them in a good shape.
You can check, clean, maintain, or replace your A/C’s plenum air filters using the following procedure:
- Remove and Replace: Take the filter out, clean it using a vacuum with a soft brush attachment and put it back into place. Don’t forget to check your equipment’s coils too!
- Clean: Remove and wipe both sides of the air filter with a cloth dipped in a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts water. Avoid washing filters with a hose or putting them into a dryer since this may compromise their efficiency.
- Lint Rolling: Roll up the ends of the lint roller and place it inside your furnace or air conditioner for at least five minutes or until it is full of lint and dust. Then, carefully remove it and dispose of the contents in your trash can.
The intake air filters around your home should be changed out every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter you use.
3. Your Electrical Outlets
Electrical outlets are often overlooked when it comes to keeping your home safe, but they’re extremely important for preventing short circuits. This is especially true when more people use their units during the summer months. Unplug unnecessary appliances and place them on cool surfaces. Replace any outlets that are old, worn, or have loose prongs.
Electrical outlets usually last between 40 and 50 years, but they wear down over time. If you don’t take care of them, they can be dangerous. If there are any signs of scorching or damage around the outlets, call a professional immediately.
What you can do to protect your outlets
- Outlet Saver: To keep the electrical sockets in your home from wearing down, you should plug-in appliances that are frequently used as outlet savers. Also, avoid overloading outlets and replace any old or damaged ones right away.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI): These are a must when it comes to keeping your home safe from electrical accidents. If you have any outlets in your kitchen, bathroom or near water, make sure they have GFCIs installed.
4. Your Heating and Cooling System
Check both the heating and cooling systems to ensure they are all work properly. The last thing you want is to get your A/C unit serviced only to find out that your furnace isn’t working properly.
Checking both systems means cleaning the entire system, including the blower, condenser and evaporator coils, radiator or heat pump and vents. You should also check for leaks in case Freon needs to be added.
How to check the heating and cooling system
- Clean: This means you should clean out any dirt, leaves or twigs from vents, ducts, and fans. You can use a broom or leaf blower for this task.
- Test: The best way to test your furnace is by turning it on at night when no one is in the house. Listen for any strange noises and feel for drafts as it starts up. If everything seems to be working properly, let it run for about five minutes before going to bed.
- Inspect: Look for any signs of damage or leaks around the furnace, especially on the drain pan. The same goes for your A/C unit, which should have a condensate drain. If the pan is full of water or sludge, call an HVAC professional right away to avoid any damage to your unit.
You should also check all of your wiring connections (the ones holding the wires together) for any loose or damaged solder joints. Also, check the connectors that might cause problems with your A/C unit. Replace any faulty wiring as they may short-circuit the system.
If you’re having problems with your A/C unit, don’t hesitate to call American Comfort Experts. We’ve been in business for years and know what it takes to make your home comfortable again.
Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced in repairing all HVAC systems. Not only will they clean your heating and cooling system, but they’ll also check it to make sure everything is working properly.