With summer right around the corner, you can expect average temperatures to rise soon. And that means your air conditioning unit in the HVAC system will start seeing much heavier use than throughout the winter and spring.
While many people take the proper functioning of their A/C system for granted, remember — prevention is the best way to ensure you don’t need to deal with A/C repair on hot summer days. Considering that, let’s look at some basic stuff you should check on your A/C system before summer arrives.
One of the most essential things you’ll find on any HVAC maintenance checklist is your A/C unit filters. Dirty or clogged filters result in plenty of different HVAC problems because the entire system is forced to work harder to make up for the inefficiencies. It is best to perform inspection and potential replacement of these filters before summer.
This is a regular maintenance task for your A/C, and you should do it every couple of months if you use the A/C unit often. And if you’re not sure whether your filters need replacing — check to see if the covers over your air intakes are covered with dust. If that’s the case, the chances are that the filter below is pretty clogged. By replacing such clogged filters, you’re easing the strain on your HVAC system — and reducing the chances of it breaking down in the process.
Most residential A/C units come with a condenser/compressor that’s generally mounted somewhere in the backyard area of the building. The purpose of these units is to take in the air processed by the HVAC system and keep the refrigerant used by the air handling unit cool.
Your A/C system’s efficiency will plummet if any debris finds its way into your compressor or the unit’s housing. As a result, it’ll become much more prone to sudden failure — so it’s essential to turn off your exterior condenser/compressor and give it a thorough cleaning.
There are plenty of factors that could cause damage to air ducts, like:
- Duct corrosion
- Accidental mishandling
- Water damage after condensation
- Pest infestations (rats are capable of chewing through thin aluminum ducts)
If you want to prevent more severe HVAC problems that would result in expensive repairs, it’s a good idea to check air ducts for damage from time to time. Naturally, this is simpler in single-family homes — there, the A/C system ducts run through the crawlspace in the attic. However, this could be more difficult in multifamily residences and apartment buildings because ducts could be situated between floors with no crawl space.
Air conditioning units have small metal tubes that go from the air handling unit to the condenser/compressor outside. These tubes contain the system’s refrigerant that’s essential for regulating the temperature of the whole residence.
If these refrigerant tubes leak, the system will require urgent professional HVAC repair. There’s no way for the system to cool the residence without the refrigerant. We don’t recommend doing this sort of A/C repair independently, as professionals are the only ones equipped to handle the coolant safely and prevent future leaks.
While inspecting the interior air handler of the air conditioning unit, you might as well turn the system off and check the evaporator coil as well — though this might mean removing some duct tape from the housing cover of the coil or loosening a couple of screws.
When it’s open, see the condition of the evaporator coil. You can expect some discoloration, which is typical — but ensure there’s no debris or dirt on the coil. If it seems dirty, use a soft brush to clean it and spray it down using special coil cleaners — you can find these in hardware stores. Also, the runoff from your cleaning will likely collect in the drain pan — make sure to clean that out too.
Call In the Professionals
It’s important to make sure you’re A/C System is ready to keep your home cool this summer. Contact American Comfort Experts today for a tune up to make sure your HVAC System is ready for the hot months ahead.