Georgia summertime heat is no joke, and neither is your cooling bill, when you run your AC unit without proper maintenance. Are you wondering how you can prepare your AC unit for battle against the summer heat this year? Well, the knowledgeable team at Bardi is here to help by sharing 6 steps to take before you turn on your AC.
1. Inspect and Clean the Outdoor Unit
Check and clean the condenser fan.
Your outdoor unit houses the condenser fan inside a grille-covered metal box. Since this fan moves the cool air over the condenser coils, it’s imperative to make sure it’s in good working order at the start of each warm weather season. Therefore, the first step you should take is to clean the fan with a vacuum attachment brush and straighten the blades. Once you have cleaned and straightened your condenser fan blades, you should carefully vacuum out any debris from the bottom of the condenser box.
Remove debris from the condenser coils.
Next, you should clean your condenser coils, removing any debris that has built up on the fins. You can use the vacuum and brush attachment or condenser coil spray and a hose to remove grease or gunk that is more stuck-on. During this cleaning task, you should take care not to bend the coil fins. To avoid damaging the fins when cleaning them with a hose, make sure you set it to a lower-pressure stream.
2. Examine Electrical Parts
Make sure the breaker switch is functioning.
To make sure your breaker switch is functioning properly, flip it to the “on” mode and watch to see if it stays on. It is an indication of an electrical short in the system if it breaks after a few seconds before the unit runs. If this is the case, you will need to have a professional electrician assess the issue.
Check the outdoor unit panels and the electrical wiring they house.
Designed to protect electrical connections from the elements, your outdoor unit panels are an important part of your AC system to maintain. Therefore, before turning your AC on for the summer, you should check for any missing or misaligned panels. If you find any problems, you should call a professional technician to inspect your wiring for damage and replace the panels with new ones.
Check the battery in your thermostat.
Once you’ve ensured your breaker switch and outdoor panels are in good shape, you should check the battery in your thermostat. Ideally, we recommend replacing your thermostat battery once each year, so, if it’s that time, you should switch it out for a new one.
3. Check Refrigerant Lines
Perform a visual inspection.
Next, you should perform a visual inspection of the refrigerant lines. This includes checking that they are well-insulated and damage-free. As a telltale sign of damage, look for any oil residue. Because refrigerant dissipates as a gas when there is a leakage, there is usually oil residue left behind. Also, you should look for any frost residue around the filter and dryer. If you notice any faulty insulation or damage, you should call a professional.
4. Maintain Your Filter and Duct-Work
Replace your filter.
We recommend that you replace your filter at least every 3-4 months each year. It’s particularly important to change your filter between seasonal weather changes. Especially when it comes to your AC, you’ll want your filters ready to trap dust mites that contribute to mold growth during hot weather and humidity.
Check your ducts for damage or leaks and clean them.
As the main highway down which your conditioned air travels, your duct-work is a vital part of cooling your home. Therefore, you should examine your ducts for any air leaks or damage. Also, while you are inspecting your ducts, you should clean away any built-up dust, dander, or other debris.
5. Inspect and Clean the Drain Line
Visually inspect the drain line.
Near your indoor cooling coil there is typically a drain above the furnace (usually in the basement.) First, examine the line for any visible cracks or damage. Then, unscrew the cap to the small vertical section of the pipe and slowly pour a gallon of water through a funnel into the pipe. If the water stops up, you have a clog and it’s time to clean out your drain line.
Unclog and clean your drain line.
To ensure this drain line is clean, flush it with one cup of chlorine bleach mixed with one gallon of water. This will not only clear away any clogs but will keep it clean all summer long.
6. Maintain Vents
Inspect and clean your supply and return vents and grilles.
Lastly, make sure the supply and return vents and grilles are open and unobstructed by debris. Also, use a vacuum to clear away pet hair or dust that has built up over the last few months. As a final step, make sure these vents and grilles are not covered or blocked by any rugs or furniture.
In Addition to These Steps to Take Before You Turn on Your AC…
Schedule a tune-up visit with your local HVAC technician. If you’re ready to make sure your AC is summertime-ready, it’s time to call a Bardi pro. With years of experience in the home service industry, we are dedicated to helping homeowners get the most out of their HVAC system. To get the most out of your AC system this summer, call us today at 770-263-9300 or fill out a service request form on our website!