When we see the first signs of sunshine and warmer temperatures, it can be tempting to run right to the thermostat and crank up the air conditioning unit without delay. But, like stretching before a big race, you should take the time to make sure all systems are ready to go. Your AC has been sitting dormant for six to eight months after all; it definitely could use a little love and encouragement before being put to work.
Here are some items to address before starting up your A/C unit in the springtime. (We’ve also included a checklist for quick reference).
Cover the basics
First off, if you have a cover that protects the condenser unit on the outside of your house, be sure to remove it before start-up. Next, make sure the breaker on your electrical panel for AC is in the on position. Finally, make sure the electrical disconnect beside the outdoor condenser is in the ‘ON’ position. If you can’t remember or are unsure of how to do this, read this past blog.
Start with some spring cleaning
Make sure you have a clean air filter in your furnace. If your filter is dirty, airflow will be inhibited, which reduces AC efficiency and performance. (Learn more)
Next, make sure to clear the area around the condenser of debris or objects. To remove leaves and debris, you can use a garden hose to rinse off the coils of the condenser. (Our last blog tells you how.)
Vents and final housekeeping items
Onto your ventilation checklist. Make sure to open all the air supply vents in the home. Having even 20% of them closed will restrict your airflow and potentially cause an AC unit to freeze up. Next, make sure all the return vents in the home (typically located at floor level in the baseboards of your home) are clear and unobstructed.
Set your thermostat and enjoy the cool air!
Now you’re ready to set the thermostat in your home. Move the switch to ‘cool’ – and set the thermostat to the desired temperature.
Don’t forget to close all your windows when running the AC unit. If you don’t, you are wasting energy by letting cool air escape and inviting warm air in!
Keep an eye out for any issues
Last but not least, keep an eye out for any potential problems in the first two weeks. Watch for the formation of water around the furnace. Water formation could be a sign that there is an obstruction in the condensate drainage.
All things considered, prepping your AC unit for spring and summer usage should be pretty straightforward. Although it has been sitting for a while, these machines are strong, durable, and able to weather harsh conditions. However, taking that little extra time and care will ensure your unit is running smoothly and providing the cooling relief you need in those sweltering months.
If you encounter any problems, be sure to check the troubleshooting guide or contact us with any questions or concerns.
Air Conditioner Spring Startup Checklist
✓ Remove the cover on the outdoor condenser unit (if applicable)
✓ Clear any debris around the condenser
✓ Use a garden hose to gently rinse condenser coils
✓ Replace the furnace filter if it is dirty
✓ Open all of the air supply vents in your home & ensure air return vents aren’t blocked
✓ Close all windows
✓ Ensure the breaker for AC is in the ‘ON’ position
✓ Ensure the Electrical Disconnect is in the ‘ON’ position
✓ Switch the thermostat to ‘Cool’ and set the temperature
✓ Enjoy the warm weather in your cool home!