The Seasons Are Changing. Is Your Air Conditioner Ready?
Across Northern California it's starting to heat up. It reached 82 degrees in my house today! I was just using my heater less than a week ago, so the weather is turning quickly. It's important to get your air conditioner ready for the heat now before you need it the most. Here are a couple quick tips to make sure you aren't caught off guard.
1. Change your filter. The number one cause of service calls is simply not changing the air filter. Not only is it the easiest thing you can do to maintain your system, it has many other benefits. A clean air filter decreases the amount of work your unit needs to do to move air around your home. This increases your air conditioners lifespan, decreases it's energy use, and provides better indoor air quality. Check back for our follow up post on which type of air filter is best for you.
2. Make sure your condensate drain is working properly. Your cooling coil (located above or below your furnace) removes the condensation that is formed during the air conditioning process. This is achieved with a gravity fed drain or often times by a condensate pump. If you have a condensate drain pan, make sure that it hasn't become clogged during the winter months. If you have a condensate pump, fill it using a bottle of water and make sure it activates and evacuates the water properly. A malfunctioned condensate pump can cause a real messy surprise.
3. Your outdoor air conditioning unit (condenser), needs to have unobstructed air flow to work properly and efficiently. Make sure your air conditioner is free of debris and shrubs in a 2 foot area around it (trim those hedges!). Hose down the coil (the metal fins) to clear the air channels of debris. If it has been a couple of seasons since you have cleaned your coil, a chemical solution might be necessary.