5 Tips to Get Your Air Conditioning Ready for the Summer

First published May 2018

Finally, the warm weather is here. That hopefully means the long, hot days of summer are right around the corner. Is your air conditioning ready?  It is very important to be aware, maintenance and repair on the internal workings of the system need a qualified air conditioning engineer. However, you can do many cleaning and minor maintenance tasks to keep your system functioning as well as it can.  Also, these maintenance jobs can keep the professional service charges lower. Here are a few things you can do to help keep reduce your air conditioner expenses during the rest of 2018:

1.  Clean Or Replace All Filters

Dirty filters cause the air conditioner to work harder as it moves the air in and out of your building. If the filters become too dirty they can cause the system to malfunction, increase energy consumption and perhaps freeze up. Dirty filters also can reduce the air quality and aggravate allergies. Subject to air conditions around the property, air filters should be cleaned or replaced every three to six months dependent upon usage.  They are inexpensive, and many people find it convenient to buy a buffer stock so they have them on hand when they need to be replaced. 

2.  Trim Any Trees and Shrubs That Have Grown Too Close To The Outdoor Condenser Unit

Plants that become overgrown near the condenser unit can interfere with the air flow it needs to function efficiently. Also, plants that hang over or brush against the condenser will shed leaves and debris, which accumulate in the unit and interfere with its operation. They also make it difficult for an engineer to access the mechanism to inspect and service it.

3.  Clean Debris From The Outdoor Condenser Unit

Keep air conditioning units free of debris.  The outdoor condenser can often become covered with leaves, its base surrounded by windblown debris. You should clean all of that away. First, turn off the power to the air conditioning system and turn off the circuit breaker that operates it. Once you are certain the power is off, clear debris from on top and around the base of the condenser. After clearing away the debris, take a hose and spray the fan blades inside of the condenser. Hold the hose about four inches from the sides of the condenser and spray it off using up and down motions. Keep spraying until the water running out of the bottom of the unit becomes free of large particles and runs clear. Let it dry before powering the system on.

4.  Replace Any Deteriorated Insulation On The Refrigerant Pipes

Check the pipes going from the outdoor unit into the building. If any of the insulated sleeves are deteriorating or frayed, replace them with new insulation sleeves that can be purchased at most of the well known DIY stores.

5.  Learn The Signs That Your Air Conditioner Needs Servicing

Ideally, switch your system on before summer starts. Is it cooling adequately? If not, turn the unit off for an hour. Set the thermostat at the ambient temperature, and then lower it in increments of four degrees each hour. If that fails to return the building to a comfortable temperature, you need to call an air conditioning engineer. If it does not work at all, yet you have ensured that the power is on, you will likely need a professional engineer to inspect and repair it. By catching the problem before the really warm days set in, you can avoid the cost of an emergency repair.

Call A Professional Air Conditioning Company

Doing these minor maintenance jobs yourself prevents many small problems from becoming big ones and can save you time and money organising and paying for emergency service calls.  High quality and appropriate maintenance of your system requires a professionally trained engineer. We do not advocate untrained personnel trying to ‘fix’ air conditioning systems beyond these ‘do it yourself’ tips.  A reputable, qualified contractor will inspect and service the inner workings of the system. It is recommended that you contract for a bi-annual service, as a minimum. Regular professional service will prolong the life of your system. It is also important to be aware that during what can be the very demanding months of Summer, most air conditioning companies will give their service clients priority for emergency calls and at reduced fees.