Winter is over, and spring is in the air! In most areas, it's not quite time to turn on the air conditioning yet . . . but the time is coming soon! Make use of the time you have left, and tackle these important tasks before it's officially time to turn your air conditioner on for the summer.
Vacuum your vents.
Your HVAC system will probably sit unused for a month or two between heating season and air conditioning season. In that time, dust will accumulate on and inside the vents. Take the time now to vacuum out these vents so when you do turn the AC back on, the dust does not blow out all over your home.
Change your HVAC filter.
In most systems, the heater and air conditioner blow air through the same filter. So, the filter in there is probably quite dirty after the long winter. Operating your AC unit with a dirty filter will put extra strain on it, causing it to consume more energy and perhaps even break down early. Change your filter now so the system is ready to go when they first hot summer day arrives.
Clean out the outdoor condenser.
The outdoor condenser is a vital component of your AC system. Outside, it is exposed to leaves, dirt, and other debris. Make sure that you hose the unit down to clean it. If you see anything stuck in the funs, pull it out carefully. Then, use a screwdriver to straighten any bent fins. You can also buy a little tool called a fin comb and use it to straighten the fins a few at a time.
Turn the power back on.
You should have turned the power off to your AC unit last fall. Now, you can safely turn it back on. Open up the cover to the outdoor power switch. If you notice any rusting or the cover is missing, this is the time to call your contractor for home air conditioner repairs so you don't end up with a short or electrical problem.
Once you complete the preparatory steps above, your AC system will be ready to go when the weather is right. Of course, another option is to call your HVAC contractor and make a maintenance appointment. Most offer a maintenance package that includes the tasks above, along with some more involved inspection services, for an affordable price. If they find anything wrong, you can have it fixed before you absolutely need your air conditioner.