Is Spring Too Early To Get Started?
Face it. Living in Florida is much more enjoyable when we get some relief from those sweltering summer afternoons. For that, we rely on our air conditioners to keep our homes nice and cool – even when the temperatures are high and the humidity is even higher. Here, having a central air-conditioning system in your home is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. The last thing you want to deal with on a 90+ degree day is an air conditioner breakdown.
Right now it’s spring in the Sunshine State, so, sure, it’s hot out there. But it’s not Florida summer hot yet. Does that mean it is too early to take the maintenance steps to prepare your A/C system for its busy season?
Nope. With your A/C it’s never too early.
Last month we made a pledge to not be sales-y in our blogs. And we’re going to stick to that promise. Like your doctor who wants to keep you healthy, we want to show you some life-extending ways to keep your A/C in good shape with some do-it-yourself maintenance. These quick routine tasks will help your system run efficiently, save you money and energy, and keep you comfortable during the hottest days of the summer.
It should be noted that these tasks can be done by the average homeowner. However, if you are uncomfortable with performing maintenance tasks yourself, never hesitate to call on a professional to do it for you.
Before you begin…
Shut off the power. Due to the dangers of working around electricity and the air conditioner’s moving parts, it’s essential to completely turn off power to the unit. On the exterior condenser/compressor, look for an exterior shut-off box near the unit. Indoors, also turn the power off at the breaker box.
Fresh filter, fresh air.
Replacing your air conditioner’s air filter (or cleaning it, if you have a reusable filter) is one of the most important A/C maintenance tasks you can do. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s inexpensive, and it should be done every other month during high-use seasons (like summer) and every 90 days during the fall and spring – more often if you have pets in the house. You can find the right size for your system at any local home improvement store.
When the filter becomes full of dust, dirt and allergen particles, the air flow will decrease, making your system work harder than it should. A dirty air filter will also affect the air flowing through your system and into your home, making it dustier and more prone to triggering allergy and asthma symptoms for those living inside.
If you’re not sure where to find your A/C air filter, it may be at one of these locations:
Return Register: This is a grill located on the ceiling or wall, where air enters your HVAC system.
Air Handler: This is the indoor part of your A/C system, where your home’s air is actually cooled. It’s generally located in your attic, a closet or a crawlspace. The air filter might be on top, below or on the side of the air handler, depending on what kind of air handler you have. If you can’t find your air filter, contact us.
Cleaner is cooler.
Over time, leaves, dirt, grass clippings, and other yard objects will build up on the outside of the air conditioner unit, decreasing system capacity and reducing air flow. After shutting off the power to the unit, use a garden hose to gently wash out the debris, starting at the top with the hose at about a 45° angle. Do NOT use a power washer, and take care not to bend or damage the delicate fins on the coil.
The Badger Bottom Line.
Hot or not, it’s never too early to maintain your A/C system. Change the filter regularly and clean the coils and area around the outside compressor. While these simple steps will help to keep your A/C system in top shape, be aware that there are maintenance items that only a trained HVAC technician will be able to do. For example, a slow refrigerant leak can lead to expensive compressor failure, but a homeowner doesn’t have the tools or skills necessary to check refrigerant levels. At Badger Bob’s, we offer maintenance plan options that go more in-depth to save you money and keep you protected from unexpected HVAC issues. All of our agreements feature priority same-day service on emergencies and discounts on all repairs.