Here are a few things you can do in the coming weeks to prepare your central air conditioner for the hot months to come.
Replace your air filter – A blocked air filter causes your A/C to overwork – a problem that could eventually wear down your blower motor. Replace the air filter at the start of the season and check it every 30 days once you start running your cooling system daily.
Clean and clear your outdoor condenser – Birds, insects and other creatures can make a home inside of the outdoor condenser unit; remove them before you power up your A/C. Keeping condenser coils debris-free enables them to dissipate the heat, which is critical for proper function of your air conditioner. Use a garden hose to push out yard material, taking care not to bend over the delicate aluminum fins. Trim trees and bushes around the condenser leaving at least two feet of clear space around and at least eight feet of clearance above the unit to ensure adequate airflow.
Check vents and ductwork – Clear away rugs, curtains, furniture, and other items from air conditioner room vents. If you detect a stale smell coming from your vents, consider having the ductwork professionally cleaned.
Give your A/C a test run – Start up the air conditioner to make sure it powers on and off properly. If it doesn’t, perform these basic A/C troubleshooting tasks:
Make sure your thermostat is set for the “air conditioner” or “cool” setting
Make sure that your thermostat is set to at least 5 degrees below the current room temperature
Check circuit breakers to make sure they have not been tripped
Make sure all power switches affecting the unit are in the on position