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How to Prepare Your AC for Summer

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As the days grow longer and the temperature rises, your air conditioning unit must be ready for action. The heat can become unbearable, and without a reliable HVAC system, your home or office could be more than uncomfortable. It could be dangerous.

In this article, we guide you through some easy steps to prepare your AC for the summer months. Following these steps can keep you cool in the blazing summer heat.

Understanding Essential AC Components

Before you start poking around in your system, you should know what you’re looking for. The heart of your AC is the compressor, which pumps refrigerant through the system. The expansion valve, often overlooked, regulates the flow of refrigerant. Refrigerant is the substance responsible for cooling the air in the system. It absorbs heat from indoor air and releases it outside.

The condenser dissipates heat to the outdoors, and the evaporator absorbs heat from your home's interior. Together, these components condition the air for your comfort.

Each component plays an important role, and for good air conditioning, all components should be in top condition. A well-maintained compressor can prevent costly energy bills, while a clean condenser ensures that your system isn't overworking itself. The evaporator's heat absorption is pivotal in chilling the air, and a functioning expansion valve guarantees the refrigerant does its job.

Signs of Inefficiency or Damage

Pay close attention to see if your unit is experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Unusual noises, such as grinding or hissing
  • Weak airflow, which suggests problems with ductwork or filters
  • Warm air instead of cool, indicating issues with the compressor or refrigerant levels

These signs are not just inconveniences. They are red flags that your AC system may be on struggling or on the brink of a complete shutdown.

Ignoring these symptoms can create damage, resulting in a system that consumes more energy while providing less comfort.

Pre-Summer Tune-Ups

Scheduling a professional AC tune-up is a strategic move that pays dividends. They can help make sure your system isn’t working harder than it should. Maintenance can optimize your system, leading to energy savings and a reduced likelihood of malfunctions.

Moreover, a professional maintenance visit can uncover small issues that have the potential to become large problems. Technicians can preemptively address these concerns, sparing you the inconvenience and expense of emergency repairs.

What to Expect During AC Maintenance

The inspection begins with a review of the refrigerant levels, which are vital for efficient cooling. Technicians test system controls for responsiveness, and they scrutinize electrical connections for safety and functionality. Then, they thoroughly clean the condenser and evaporator coils to remove buildup that can hinder performance.

The technician will also inspect the thermostat for accuracy, lubricate moving parts to prevent wear, and examine the blower components to guarantee proper airflow. In essence, the technician conducts a comprehensive health check of your AC system.

AC Preparation You Can Do Yourself

Cleaning or Replacing Air Filters

A quick, easy air filter change is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to prepare your AC for the summer. Filters enhance air quality by catching dust and debris. Over time, these particles can build up, leading to restricted airflow and a strain on your system.

Cleaning or replacing these filters requires no specialized tools or skills. The process is straightforward. First, locate the filter housing, remove the old filter, and if it's disposable, replace it with a new one. Make sure your new filters match the size and type recommended by your AC manufacturer.

If it's a reusable filter, gently wash it and dry it thoroughly. This simple act can improve indoor air quality, enhance system efficiency, and help keep your AC from working too hard.

Clearing the Area Around Outdoor Units

Your AC's outdoor unit, the condenser, requires breathing room to function optimally. Over the fall and winter months, debris such as leaves, twigs, and trash can accumulate around this unit. This buildup can impede airflow and diminish efficiency.

As summer approaches, clear a two-foot perimeter around the condenser. This space allows for adequate air circulation, which is essential for the heat exchange process.

Additionally, ensure that any plants or shrubs are trimmed back, and the unit is level on its pad. A level unit operates more efficiently and experiences less wear and tear.

If your AC unit needs repairs, or it requires maintenance to prepare for the upcoming heat, Reliable Home Comfort is here to help. For a free estimate on our services, contact us online or call us at (562) 543-5987.

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    • Additional Maintenance $99/visit
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    • Additional Maintenance $99/Visit
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    • $45 Diagnostic Fee
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