Prepping Your Air Conditioner (A/C) for Summer

AC Unit outside a brick home
With summer in full swing and temperatures already climbing, it’s important to make sure relief is within reach. Your air conditioning, whether you have a central system or a window unit, is an integral part of a comfortable – and bearable – summer season. Before you crank your thermostat to battle those piping hot temps outside, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your air conditioner is functioning properly and efficiently:

Key Air Conditioner Terms

Before we get started, here are some key terms that are good to know when it comes to keeping your home cool:
  • Compressor: Changes low pressure refrigerant to high pressure refrigerant.
  • Condenser: A radiator-like component that gives off heat by changing a gas to a liquid.
  • Evaporator: The component where liquid refrigerant is changed to a gas as it absorbs heat from inside air.
  • Filter: An element used to remove foreign substances from the refrigerant.

Patch up your exposed duct work.

Wear and tear in duct work is pretty standard. And unfortunately, it can be a huge efficiency drainer. Take a look at all of your exposed duct work, make simple repairs where you can, and consult a professional if any replacements need to be made.

Make sure your vents have full-blast capabilities.

If you’ve got anything blocking your air vents, it’s going to make it pretty difficult for your air conditioner to cool to its full potential. Move any furniture or other items away from the vent openings so airflow isn’t restricted. Energy saving tip: Close the vents in any rooms that you’re not actively using.

Clear out your drain line.

On central air conditioning units, there is typically a drain by the indoor cooling coil mounted above the furnace. This drain can become clogged with dirt from the indoor coil and can cause some pretty nasty damage. Clean the drain line out by pouring a cup of chlorine bleach down the drain and then rinsing with a gallon of water.

Change your filter.

Filters in your air conditioner should be changed once every three months and also at the beginning of the season.

Check your outdoor condenser.

If you’ve invested in a cover for your condenser, great job! But there’s still a chance your equipment could have been damaged or dirtied while winter was happening. Clean around the unit and make sure there are no leaves, sticks, or other debris lodged in the unit.

Make sure your refrigerant lines are still insulated.

These lines should have proper insulation to keep the air conditioner as efficient as possible. If you notice wear and tear, this should be handled by a professional.

Upgrade your thermostat.

Nest thermostatTaking that dial thermostat up a notch can give you better control of your air conditioner this summer. Not only could a programmable thermostat save you time and energy, but it can also help you reduce your cooling budget. Check out our blog about programmable thermostats to find out how.

Turn your A/C on!

Once you’ve done a thorough check of the system, you can switch the air conditioner on and enjoy the cool refuge of your home during the summer’s hottest days. Check out our blog for some great energy-saving tips for the summertime!

Air conditioner on the fritz?

Sounds like you need some HVAC Protection!

At IGS Energy, we know that unexpected HVAC malfunctions and breaks can cost thousands of dollars to repair. That’s why we want to help you plan ahead and protect your budget. For just pennies a day, we offer a comprehensive HVAC protection plan that covers wear and tear repairs and replacements of HVAC systems, up to $8,000 of coverage.

Learn more about summer energy savings.