Get Your Air Conditioner in Shape for Summer

air conditionerAfter living through the second snowiest winter on record in Grand Rapids this year, it is hard to imagine hot summer temperatures are almost here. Preparing your air conditioner for the sweltering summer heat is too often forgotten. Just like your car requires routine maintenance, your air conditioning unit needs regular upkeep to ensure your home remains cool no matter how hot the temperature is outside.

Taking the preventative measures to protect against long-term damage to your air conditioner not only saves you money on costly repairs in the future, but also keeps your home’s energy bill lower. When taken care of, the life expectancy of your air conditioning unit will increase tremendously.

To get your air conditioner ready for summer, make sure you complete these easy tasks:

1. Test your air conditioning unit and make repairs before the hot weather hits. The worst time to discover your air conditioner is not running properly is in the middle of a heat wave. First, switch your thermostat to the “cool” position. Next, check to see if your outdoor air conditioning unit and the blower motor in your furnace are running. If you do not feel cool air coming from your vents or you do not hear your air conditioner running, check your circuit breakers to make sure they are all in the “on” position and both your outdoor unit and furnace on/off switches are set to “on”.

2. Change the air filter in your furnace. Make sure to check and change the air filter in your furnace every 30 days. When an air filter is not changed regularly, it becomes clogged with dust, pet dander and other air pollutants. The more clogged the air filter becomes, the harder your air conditioner has to work to keep your home comfortable. This drives up the cost of your home’s energy bill and makes your unit more susceptible to costly repairs. Another thing to keep in mind is some air filters clog faster than others. For instance, allergen reducing air filters work to keep the allergens in your home at a minimum. This means they clog a lot easier than other air filters and requires you to change your air filter more frequently.

3. Clear debris around your outdoor air conditioning unit. Even if you have not given your yard a good spring cleaning yet, make sure the area around your outdoor air conditioning unit is free of debris. Get rid of any weeds or left-over leaves from the fall, trim back low-hanging branches or vines, and keep your grass trimmed short to ensure your unit continues to run efficiently. Make sure there is a clear, two-foot radius around your air conditioner. Finally, rinsing off your unit with a garden hose can help get rid of any debris that may have gotten inside.

4. Make sure all the registers in your house are unobstructed and open. To get the cool air running throughout your home, check to see if all of your air vents and registers are open and nothing is blocking them. Leave at least twelve-inches between your furniture and all of the registers and return vents. If you still feel that the airflow is not as strong as it should be, remove the register’s cover and check to see if anything has fallen into your vents.

5. Schedule a professional spring tune-up for your air conditioner. Just like you schedule an annual checkup with your doctor to help keep you healthy, your air conditioner needs a spring tune-up to make sure everything is running the way it should be. The steps listed above are all things homeowners can easily complete themselves, however, there is some routine maintenance that requires a skilled professional. With 30 years of experience, at Engelsma Heating and Cooling, we know what your air conditioning unit needs to run safe and efficient, while saving you money. Schedule a spring tune-up with EHC today and save yourself the hassle of fixing your air conditioner when you need it most.

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