Don’t get trapped in the intense summer heat when the temperature rises! The last thing you want to discover on the first truly hot summer day is that your central air conditioner is broken. However, if you don’t perform some fast annual maintenance before summer arrives, this could be the case. In Metro Detroit, spring is the ideal time to get your air conditioner ready for summer.
An indoor air handler and an exterior compressor are used in a central air conditioner. The condenser unit is usually found outside. This is the part of your air conditioner that has to be cleaned and maintained. During the frigid winter months, your air conditioner has been gathering leaves and other dirt. Replace the filters, clean the condenser, and run a few simple inspections on your air conditioner to ensure it’s ready to function and cool your home efficiently this summer.
Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Summer
1. Prioritize Safety
Before working on your air conditioning system, make sure the circuit breaker is turned off. Before working on your air conditioner, make sure the power to the condenser is turned off at the service panel. A 240-volt weatherproof disconnect box is usually positioned near the condenser as well. To turn off the condenser, use a lever, fuses, or a circuit breaker. Make sure this is turned off as well.
2. Replace or Clean the Filters
When your furnace or air-handler filters become clogged with dust, clean or replace them. Alternatively, at least twice a year. If you don’t change these filters, air movement will be restricted, and your air conditioner’s efficiency will suffer. Dust filters recycle dust back into your home as well. See How to Replace Furnace & AC Filters for instructions on how to do this.
3. Clean the Condenser Coils on the Air Conditioner
Debris should be removed from the condenser coils and fan of your air conditioner. The condenser unit of a central air conditioner is usually positioned outside. It’s a huge fan enclosed in a metal box with grille-like sides. Uncover your condenser unit if it was covered during the winter. There’s probably not much debris to remove in this scenario. You’ll have to clear away a larger buildup of leaves, yard debris, and dirt if it wasn’t covered. Make sure the fan is clean and debris-free. After that, look inside the package. Condenser coils in the radiator style move air. Check to check if the coils have become clogged with debris. If this is the case, these coils must be cleaned in order for your condenser unit to operate at peak efficiency.
- Remove the side and top panels or protective grilles from the condenser unit to clean the coils. Note: Double-check that the condenser unit’s electricity has been turned off.
- Take the top off. It’s possible that the fan is hooked to it, making it hefty. Take care not to pull on any of the fan’s wiring.
- Clean the coils on the outside of the unit with a refrigerator coil brush or a soft brush on a vacuum. Vacuum coils from the inside after cleaning the outside. Note: Be careful not to break the coils or bend the fragile fins.
4. Debris Removal and Cleaning
Remove all leaves and dirt from the condenser’s base. If your air conditioner has a drain, check to see if it is clear. Using a vacuum or a towel, clean the fan blades on the blower. Remove any surplus water from the device. Reassemble the condenser when everything has been cleared and cleaned.
5. Examine the Coolant Pipes
The evaporator on the air handler and the condenser outdoors are connected via refrigerant tubes or pipelines. These lines are typically insulated with foam coolant lines. Examine the insulation for any spots where it is torn or missing. If this is the case, replace it with fresh foam insulation sleeves or spirally wrap the lines with foam insulation tape.
6. Put the Unit to the Test
After allowing your air conditioning unit to dry completely, give it a test run. The power to your condenser unit must be turned back on. Restart the condenser by doing the following steps:
- Turn your home’s thermostat to off.
- Power should be turned on at both the disconnect box and the main panel.
- Set the thermostat to a cool setting.
Please note: The air handler or furnace blower distributes the chilled and dehumidified air to the home’s rooms via ducting. Repairing the sealed refrigeration system in your central air conditioner is not a do-it-yourself project. They should be handled by a qualified HVAC technician.
Air Conditioner Service in Metro Detroit
Three-G Mechanical provides heating and cooling services for your home or business and offers free bids on unit replacement. Contact us here to schedule service! We service a vast area of Metro Detroit. Call us at (800) 672-9546 to see if you’re in our service area.