How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Summer

Air Conditioner

On average, Georgia residents experience 20 days of scorching hot days each year. By 2050, experts forecast this to go up to 90 days, an increase of 450%.

If that comes to pass, Augusta, GA, would have more days wherein temperatures can reach 105 degrees. The city could experience such heat for at least 38 days a year.

For those reasons, climate experts are urging everyone to take action. Maintaining your air conditioner to keep it energy-efficient is one way to do that. An energy-efficient AC uses less energy and has lower carbon dioxide emissions.

To that end, we created this guide on how to prepare your air conditioner for summer. Read on to discover the steps to take to so that you can keep cool while having less of an impact on the environment.

Safety First

The power is the first thing you need to check whenever you perform HVAC troubleshooting. However, you’d want this power to be off before you start carrying out maintenance on your AC. It’s for your safety, as it can help cut your risks of sustaining an electrical injury.

If you’re working on a window or wall AC, turn its power off and disconnect its plug from the outlet. For a central AC, switch it off via your main electrical service panel. Your panel may be in your basement, laundry room, or utility closet.

Don’t forget to don personal protection, too, such as goggles, face masks, and gloves. Even if you’re only going to change the filter, it can still make dust and debris go airborne. You don’t want those particles to get into your eyes or nose, as they can cause immune reactions.

Clean or Replace a Filthy Air Conditioner Filter

An air conditioner filter protects the equipment itself from airborne particles. These include dust and debris, which can cut the AC’s cooling power if allowed to build up on AC components. The dustier and more debris-filled the air is, the quicker the filter will get all clogged up.

The thing is, that kind of air is common in Augusta, GA, with its high ozone and particle pollution. Because of this, it won’t be a surprise if your AC filter gets filthier much faster.

It’s important to clean or replace AC filters as soon as there’s visible residue or clogs on them. Otherwise, your cooling equipment will develop airflow problems. Such issues, in turn, can lead to a considerable reduction in the unit’s efficiency.

By contrast, cleaning or changing dirty filters can boost your AC’s efficiency. You also get to save you up to 10% on energy costs.

You’ll find the filter in a window or wall air conditioner mounted in the unit itself. It should be just right by the grille facing the room.

In a central AC, the filter should be somewhere within the system’s return duct. It could be on top, beside, or below the central AC’s indoor unit.

Clean the Outdoor Unit

Central air conditioners have two primary components: the indoor and the outdoor unit. Window and wall AC units don’t have a separate outdoor unit, but they still have an exterior side. As with the outdoor unit of a central AC, this exterior side is prone to dust and debris build-up.

The least you can do is clear away any visible obstruction, such as debris, leaves, and twigs. You can also use a dry vacuum to remove accumulated residue on the grills.

Be sure to get rid of vegetation that may be blocking this exterior component, too. Remove overgrown grass and weeds, and trim shrubs that may obstruct the outside unit. Maintain a clearance of at least two feet on all sides of your AC unit exposed to the outdoors.

Tweak the Thermostat

The difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures influences your cooling bill. The smaller the gap is, the lower your cooling costs. So, to save on costs, your air conditioner summer setting should be as close to the outdoor temp as you can tolerate.

A suggestion from Energy Star is to raise your AC thermostat setting by 4° F during bedtime. You can also consider raising the temp by 7° F when no one is at home during the day. Keep in mind that these are only recommendations, so be sure to factor in your personal comfort, too.

Schedule Your AC for Pre-Season Maintenance

There are over 20 crucial maintenance steps needed to keep an HVAC unit efficient. Changing filters, fastening electrical connections, and deep-cleaning are just to name a few. Many of these tasks require special tools that not a lot of average homeowners own.

That’s why it’s best to invest in professional pre-season AC maintenance. HVAC professionals will carry out all those maintenance tasks on your behalf. They’ll help ensure your AC is in tip-top condition in time for the summer season.

That’s better than getting your AC serviced in summer, which is when most HVAC pros are busiest. Getting it done early ensures that Augusta’s summer heat won’t make your AC work doubly hard.

In addition, pre-season maintenance will unearth potential AC woes before they worsen. This gives you and HVAC experts more time to carry out preventive measures to extend your AC’s life. HVAC pros can also help you determine if your AC is too old and if it would be best to upgrade to a more efficient unit.

Prep Your Air Conditioner Before It Gets Too Hot and Muggy

Changing your air conditioner filter and dusting the outdoor AC unit are tasks you can do on your own. However, to really prep your air conditioning system for summer, it’s better to call the pros. With a full-service maintenance program, you can keep your AC energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

Ready to get the air conditioner in your Augusta home cleaned and all spruced up? If so, please know that our team here at Connell’s Service Company is ready to help! Feel free to get in touch with us now to learn more about our HVAC maintenance services.

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