With summer well on its way, preparing air conditioners for the first heat wave can help make the dog days of summer a little more pleasant. It is generally a good idea to perform basic maintenance on heating and cooling appliances at the beginning of each season. With outdoor equipment such as air conditioning units, harsh winter weather can affect how the unit starts and runs.
Angie’s List gives some great tips on ways to check an A/C for the first time after a harsh winter. “With a few checks and a little effort, you can help to ensure a trouble-free summer cooling season.”
Inspect the Outdoor Condenser Unit
- Check the outdoor unit panels to see that they are in place. These panels are designed to enclose the electrical connections and will protect the system and consumers. If a panel is missing or out of place, call a qualified technician for an assessment before starting the system.
- Remove any condenser covers, coil blankets, or lids. Starting the system with these in place could severely damage the system.
- Repair or replace damaged pipe insulation of the larger copper pipe on the outdoor unit. Damaged insulation could cause a loss of required cooling which could cause unnecessary energy loss.
- Remove debris from the outdoor coil. Debris in or around the base of the unit cause overheating or a malfunction.
Check the Indoor Air Handler Unit
- Change the indoor air filters. Be sure to pay attention to the airflow directions arrow on the system and the filter- they both need to be pointing in the same direction.
- Check the coil drainage hose or condensation line. Condensation from the line needs to flow to a properly working drain. The line should also be checked that it is properly attached.
- Clean the supply vents and the return grills. Make sure they are open and free of debris. Consider using a vacuum to remove any pet hair or dust that may have accumulated.
Turn on the Unit and Make Sure it Works
- After the first few minutes of operation, check the air coming out of the indoor vents every few hours through the day. If no air is coming out, or if the air coming out is not cool, immediately turn off the system at the thermostat. Go through the checklist again and turn on the system again. If the problem is not resolved, turn off the system and consider the following, recommended by an AC repair company in Las Vegas.
- Check for a refrigerant leak. This will likely require the attention of a professional.
- Check that the condenser unit is not blocked. It needs to be able to vent warm air in order to function properly
- Check for dirt in the air filter.
- Consider a bad compressor. As it starts to wear out, the air from the air conditioner will get warmer. This will also likely require the attention of a professional.