The Winter Blues will soon be replaced with Spring Fever! Are you ready? If you’ve had all you can take of the harsh winter then you’re probably eager to move on to a more favorable season. Spring generally is a time of year when you can almost get by without using your home’s central heating or cooling system. The air is fresh and not too hot or not too cool. You can simply open your windows and nature ventilate your home.
However, those days of ideal temperatures will be limited. Now is the perfect time to do an annual system tune-up & safety check. That way you will be sure that your AC is ready for another summer of blistering heat. A system tune-up done before the summer months can be a real money saver. When your air conditioner is running at peak performance then it will use less energy to keep your house cool and comfortable. The bottom line? Lower monthly utility bills, by as much as 20% percent less electricity. On top of that, doing a system tune-up and safety check ensures your central AC will last year longer.
The professional staff here at GAMA Air are trained and experienced. Give us a call at (310) 651-6936 or use our online form to request a system tune-up & safety check. What can you expect from a visit by one of our trained technicians? Please visit our System Tune-up & Safety Check page to read about what we offer to keep your cooling system running effectively and efficiently.
If you are a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, and would like to check out your air conditioner yourself, then here are some basic tips that you as a homeowner can do. (If you don’t own the home you are living in, we highly recommend not doing more than inspecting what is plainly visible to you. If you have a concern, then you are better off contacting the landlord or property owner to get your system checked out.)
Can it breathe?
If you turned your system off for the winter, then first make sure the outdoor unit is not covered up with a tarp or a pile of leaves. The AC unit outside needs good airflow on all four sides and the top in order to operate efficiently. So, remove debris such as trash, leaves, shrubs and the like from around the exterior of the unit. The details vary from brand to brand, but a good rule of thumb is to have at least 18-inches of clear space on all sides, and a couple of feet above.
Is it clean?
A clean AC is an efficient AC. But we caution you against trying to clean it yourself with a hose and water. Why? First, there is a risk of electric shock from the components inside. Second, it is very likely that you could damage the delicate coil fins and cause bigger problems. Contact a trusted HVAC professional to remove debris from inside the condenser unit, and to clean the coil fins themselves.
Being clean also involves the fan unit inside the house. One obvious step is to replace the air filter with a clean one. But what about the fins of the indoor coil? If they have dust and grime built up on them your AC will not be able to run at peak efficiency. Having a professional HVAC technician clean it will save energy and money.
Ready, Set, Go!
Ready the unit by being sure all access panels of both the AC unit outside, and the blower unit inside are secure, with all the screws in place.
Set the unit by turning OFF the thermostat and turning ON the breaker or main switch that supplies power to your AC. Now WAIT at least 8 hours before turning on the thermostat. This is very important. If the power has been turned off during the winter season, liquid refrigerant could be sitting inside the compressor. Turning the POWER on and waiting before turning the COOL allows time for some internal components to get the liquid refrigerant out before you turn your compressor. Please follow this step to avoid critically damaging your unit.
Go! Now you can set your thermostat to the COOL setting and get the system running. It is better to run it for 10 to 20 minutes and see if the air coming out of the vents is nice and chilly. If something doesn’t seem right, take care of it now. It is better to handle this while the temperatures are still mild then to wait until the first swelteringly hot day!
Curious about something related to your heating system? Visit our “Ask an Expert” page and let us know what’s on your mind.