Before the hotter summer weather arrives, it is the perfect time to check that your air conditioner is working correctly. Prompt action means that you will have the opportunity to schedule any repairs before the air conditioning companies start to get very busy with breakdown call outs and reduce the risk of your system malfunctioning when it is needed most. Unfortunately, many homeowners can be a little too keen and start to see problems and issues that don’t exist and can feel very embarrassed when they call out for AC repair. So, here are just a few things to check before you make that call, to save you a little cash and a red face.
It is very likely that over the winter months, your thermostat will have been on the “heat” setting. It can be very easy to forget to switch your system over to the “cool mode.” Additionally, a family member may have already adjusted the settings without your knowledge. So, before placing a call for AC repair, it is a good idea to give your thermostat a check to ensure that it is not the culprit of your system not working correctly. Remember that if your batteries are starting to get a little low, this can affect the performance of your thermostat. If the display is blank or the thermostat is behaving erratically, try changing the batteries, and you may find the problems are resolved immediately.
Every model of air conditioners is equipped with at least one air filter. This is needed to strain dust, pollen, pet hair and other airborne debris from the air circulating the system. Even if your air conditioner has not been in use for months, the air filters may have picked up debris while you were heating your home. Most AC manufacturers recommend that filters are changed every four to six weeks during heavy use, but you may find that you need to change your filters more frequently if you have allergy sufferers, pets or smokers in your family. A clogged air filter restricts airflow through the system, placing a strain on vital components and increasing wear and tear. Additionally, some systems have a safety override. When reduced airflow is detected, the system will shut down, and you will be unable to get the AC running again until the filter has been cleaned or changed. So, while it is a good idea to check your filters before calling for AC repair, regularly checking and changing the filters is a good habit to develop.
The Outdoor Unit:
Since it is placed out of direct sight, many homeowners forget that the outdoor unit of their air conditioning system contains vital components. This unit usually houses the compressor, condenser and cooling fins, which are needed for your air conditioner to function properly. Over winter, your outdoor unit may have accumulated garden debris such as fallen leaves or grass clippings that have restricted airflow. Now is the ideal time to ensure that there is no yard intrusion on the outdoor unit and that there is clear space on every side of at least a couple of feet.