It’s no secret it’s been a long, cold winter. With snow (still) falling in April, you probably aren’t ready to crank the cool air yet. But believe it or not, summer will be here before you know it. It’s important to get an air conditioning tune-up to ensure your AC unit is in tip top shape to beat the heat!
We often think of our furnace as being critical to our comfort, especially here in Wisconsin, but your AC is important too. When temperatures climb in July or the first surprisingly hot day in June, you don’t want to feel miserable.
Regular maintenance keeps your furnace from breaking down. Similarly, preventative maintenance will keep your air conditioner running for years to come. Yes, unlike your furnace, your AC may only get used a few months of the year, but when you need cool air, it’s vital!
Spring maintenance for air conditioners
There are a few steps to ensure your air conditioner is ready to beat the heat this summer. After the long, particularly harsh winter we just had, it’s especially important you have your AC looked at by a professional. For window units, spring maintenance is often a DIY project, but if you have an air conditioning system built into your home, you’ll need professional air conditioning maintenance.
Your first step should be to call and schedule a technician visit. In the meantime, you should do a visual check on your air conditioning unit. If you’ve kept your unit covered for the winter, remove the cover and look it over.
Watch for pooling water
Do you see water pooling under your air conditioner? Don’t panic. Some water collection under the unit is normal, but it’s wise to have your Stramowski technician take a look during a maintenance visit. Most puddles are caused by condensation which happens when your air conditioner is cooling your home.
What you shouldn’t see is large pools of water (or ice) under your unit. This may indicate a much larger problem like a broken condensate pan, which is more common in older units. Water could also indicate the drainpipe is clogged, refrigerant is low, or your air filter is very dirty. If your unit is new, a large pool of water could indicate it was improperly installed.
Check your air filter
Air filters get dirty, even if you’re AC has been turned off all winter. During an air conditioning tune-up, your Stramowski technician will likely change your air filter. But if you’d like to know whether a clogged air filter is causing your AC to work overtime, you can check the filter yourself.
To check the filter, turn off your AC to defrost (this usually takes around 4 hours). Once the unit has defrosted, remove the air filter and hold it up to the sky. You should see light shining through the filter. Can’t see anything? This means your filter is dirty and it’s time for a replacement. Keep your air conditioner working in tip-top shape by replacing the filters.
Clear the area around your AC unit
A common issue we see with AC units is a lack of airflow. Usually, your big AC unit is placed behind the house, out of the line of sight. This means the area tends to get overgrown with weeds and grass. Occasionally, well-intentioned gardeners allow plants to grow up around the unit as well. Some folks also try to hide the unit by placing items on top, which is bad for the health of your air conditioner.
When grass, clippings, plants, and other items stack up around the unit, they block the airflow. Your air conditioner should have an 18-inch clearance around all sides. This means don’t stack the hose on top of the AC unit or put plants around it. Check the area around your unit to ensure there’s plenty of space for airflow.
After making sure your AC unit is clear, it’s time to call your Stramowski technician for an annual air conditioning tune-up.
What happens during an air conditioning tune-up?
So, what should you expect during your Stramowski visit? Our technicians go through an 18-point checklist to ensure your AC will keep you cool all summer long. Here are a few important actions on the list:
- Inspect & clean drain pan & lines.
- Inspect/change filter if dirty or over a year old.
- Check refrigerant charge.
- Inspect electrical components.
- Take total system amp draw.
- Remove debris from inside condensing unit.
These actions are just a few of the important actions Stramowski technicians take to ensure your air conditioner is working at optimum levels. The actual checklist depends on the make, model, and type of unit you own, but our technicians will guide you. Not only does an efficient air conditioner mean lower energy costs, but it ensures you won’t experience an outage during the dog days of summer.
If you’re ready to get your air conditioning ready for the summer months (which are on the way, we promise) call today! Our friendly staff will help you schedule an appointment and keep your AC working all summer long.