With the weather warming up in the Seattle area and the smell of BBQ in the air, it’s time to get your air conditioning system working again. During the winter months while the air heating system is used, your air conditioner can collect debris and maintenance is often needed to have it run properly. It’s important to know how to care for your A/C unit to ensure you won’t be left without air conditioning during the first hot days of the year. Here are 5 tips to ensure energy efficiency and reliability from your air conditioning unit.
- Clean or Change the Air Filter on the Indoor Unit
This is the easiest and often most important step. After a cold winter, it’s likely your indoor filter has gathered a lot of debris and dust. If your A/C unit has a reusable air filter, be sure to clean it—doing so can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 15%. We recommend cleaning or changing the air filters twice a year to keep your air conditioner running smoothly. This will also improve the air quality in your home.
- Remove Debris & Other Hazards from the Outdoor Unit
First, inspect the outdoor unit panels for missing or misaligned panels. Next, if you covered the outdoor coil for protection during the winter months, remove the cover before starting the system. Keeping the cover on, even for a short time, could severely damage your air conditioning system. Repair or replace damaged pipe insulation, as this can cause a significant decrease in energy efficiency. Remove debris from the outdoor coil by using a vacuum and rag to clean the fan blades. Be sure to keep vegetation and outdoor living areas at least two feet away from the unit to maintain proper air flow.
- Clean the Condensing Coils
In the metal box, there’s a large fan that moves air across the radiator-style condenser coils. Anything that obstructs air flow will inhibit the condenser’s efficiency, so we suggest that the coils be cleaned at the start of summer. While you can do this yourself, we recommend having a professional assist you in properly cleaning the condensing coils so that there’s no permanent damage inflicted on the air conditioning unit.
- Check Coolant Lines
For the safety of your family and the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, frayed or missing insulation on the coolant lines must be replaced. Typically, foam insulation covers the refrigerant pipes that run from the evaporator on the air handler to the condenser outside. To replace them, you can install foam insulation sleeves or you can spiral-wrap the lines with insulation tape.
- Test the Unit
After completing these steps, allow the unit to dry completely. Then, turn the home power to the condenser back on and switch the thermostat to “Cool”. If your A/C unit still isn’t working properly after these steps, give us a call—we’re available 24/7 for emergency repairs.
All Points Heating & Coolong
With a bit of preparation, your air conditioning unit will be in tip-top shape when the furnace and fireplace are no longer needed during the spring and summer months. Following the steps above for your home or business can also improve the efficiency and safety of your A/C unit. The All Points Heating team members are experts in A/C maintenance and can help you through each step of this essential process— send us an email or call us today!
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Best A/C Unit Summer Maintenance Tips for the Seattle Area
Serving customers from Arlington to Renton and Bellevue to Shoreline, including Seattle, Redmond, Bothell, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Everett, Marysville, Mill Creek, Woodinville, Kirkland, Mercer Island and the surrounding area.