Great air conditioning maintenance is all about prevention. By taking a few steps at the very beginning of the cooling season, you can eliminate minor issues and stop expensive failures from happening down the road. Here are five ways to prepare your air conditioner to keep your family cool all spring and summer long.

Clean or Replace Your Filter

Your air conditioning unit works by expelling cool air into your home, and the air filter cleans dust and debris out of that cool air before it reaches the rest of your house. If the filter is clogged with dirt and debris, the overall efficiency of the system drops. Furthermore, a dirty air filter can lead to freezing and other issues.

To prevent these problems from happening, you should start the cooling season with a clean air filter. If your machine uses disposable filters, put in a replacement built to fit your model; if it uses a reusable filter, clean it thoroughly and allow it to air dry before putting it back in the machine. Mark your calendar with reminders to clean or replace the filter throughout the cooling season.

Check the Refrigerant Level

All air conditioners and heat pumps use refrigerant chemicals to transfer heat from one place to another. Since your cooling unit does not actually consume refrigerant during normal operation, the refrigerant level should remain constant. At the beginning of the spring, check the refrigerant gauge to confirm that the level is still in the recommended range. Low refrigerant levels are evidence of a refrigerant leak, which requires immediate professional attention.

Clear the Outdoor Unit

Branches, leaves and other debris can interfere with your condenser coil and even damage fan blades and other components. Take a few minutes to check the area around the outdoor unit and make sure nothing is blocking the fins. Cutting away anything within a few inches of the outdoor unit is an easy way to prevent expensive repairs.

Check the Ducts

Many air conditioning systems rely on ducts to transport cool air throughout your home. If your ducts are clean and efficiently laid out, they will help your whole system run more effectively; conversely, if there is an issue with the ducts, your whole home comfort system is threatened. Check the access holes in your duct system for physical blockage and make sure there is no dust coming out of your home’s vents. If your ducts are very dirty or contaminated with mold, professional duct cleaning can help.

Get a Tune-Up

While good home maintenance can go a long way towards making sure your cooling systems run well all summer long, there is no substitute for professional maintenance. During a routine tune-up, an air conditioning repair expert will look at your machine, identify any emerging issues and make calibration adjustments needed to maximize energy efficiency. Routine maintenance from Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning is thus a great investment in the future of your home comfort system.

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