Four Steps To Prepare Your Air Conditioner For Summer

Taking some time to perform basic maintenance on your air conditioner is the best way to avoid serious problems when you need your air conditioner the most. Along with taking simple steps to look for problems early, additional maintenance from a professional can ensure your air conditioner will work fine all summer long.

Clear Condensate Drains 

As your air conditioner cools air, it pulls moisture from it, and that moisture is drained safely outside your house. If these drains get clogged, water can back up into your air conditioner and into your house. It's a good idea to make sure the drains are clear every few months. You can use a vacuum to clear debris, and you can also pour distilled vinegar down the drain line and let it sit for half an hour before flushing it out. While you're at it, make sure the backup line is also clear, just in case.

If you come up against a particularly stubborn clog, an air conditioning technician can help you clear the line and make sure no moisture backs up into your house.

Keep Outdoor Unit Clean

While your outdoor unit is designed to withstand the elements, keeping it clean is the best way to avoid damage to important internal components. Keep the area around the unit clear of debris, remove any plants that may be growing near it, and avoid leaning anything up against it or blocking its airflow.

Additionally, if any of the fins on the unit have been bent, you can use a fin comb to straighten them back out. Too many bent fins can block air flow, and any physical damage threatens important parts inside, like the motor and fan blades.

Give It a Test Run

When you haven't used your air conditioner in a while, giving it a test run is a great way to catch signs of potential issues before they become serious and before you need to use your air conditioner regularly. Turn it on and run it for at least twenty minutes; while you do, listen for unusual sounds like scraping, banging, or shrieking. These sounds often indicate the wearing down of parts that need repair or replacing.

Be aware of any strange odors, too; the smell of burning plastic or fishy smells can mean that the protective coating on the air conditioner's wiring is melting, which is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Have an Annual Inspection

Many service companies offer service agreements where they will provide certain services annually, such as basic maintenance and cleaning, for a flat fee. This is a great way to have professional service performed on your air conditioner at a predetermined cost, and it's helpful to have these services performed in the spring before your air conditioner needs to be used regularly. This is especially helpful for older air conditioners that may need more regular servicing than newer units.

For more information, reach out to an air conditioning maintenance service in your area.