Hiya! CJ here to announce that it is time to start focusing on the “AC” in “HVAC”! As winter begins to thaw, and the sun starts to peek through the chilly Boston, Massachusetts clouds—we inch closer and closer to kicking our beloved cooling systems into overdrive.
So, as spring settles in, and the temperatures outside begin to rise, it’s important your air conditioning system is ready to go back to working full-time. And, if you haven’t turned your air conditioner on since September—you run the risk of housing an AC unit that simply doesn’t work.
If your cooling network has been dormant for months, it will need more than crossed fingers and a wish to take on the harsh humidity that is Boston in spring and summer. Your system will need to undergo maintenance to get it into optimal shape, so it can effectively and efficiently take on your home climate control.
Imagine, on the first hot day of spring, walking over to turn on your AC, and nothing happens—it doesn’t work. You and your family would be left sweating it out while you wait for repairs. Avoid this sticky situation by following these Winters® Home Services maintenance tips for preparing your AC for warmer weather—let’s get started:
Step 1: Set your desired temperature and make sure your thermostat is switched “on”.
Step 2: To make sure the fan in your outdoor condenser is running properly, go outside and listen to your unit. If everything sounds normal, and the air coming out of the top of your condenser is warm—your system is operating as it should.
Step 3: Keep your system running for ten to fifteen minutes until you can feel the climate change in your home. If the temperature does not lower throughout your space, it is time to check each aspect of your air conditioner so you can ascertain which piece of your system is malfunctioning.
Your thermostat is your main command center; hence, it’s a great place to start. First, make sure that your system’s batteries are new. It’s recommended to change thermostat batteries every season. After replacing its batteries, check the switches on your thermostat, or if you have a touch screen, observe the screen, to ensure your thermostat is indeed on.
Make sure to adjust any programmed thermostats from preexisting cold weather schedules, as pre-set temperatures from automated systems can sometimes override your actions, making it appear as though your thermostat is malfunctioning.
Once you determine that your thermostat turns on, have one of your friends, or a family member, go stand by one of your air ducts to see if there is cool air flowing. If the air is warm, the airflow is weak, or there is no air coming out at all—contact a professional HVAC technician ASAP for AC repair.
Ductwork & Ventilation
To ensure cooled air is properly distributed throughout your property, you must keep your ductwork leak-free. Air leaks are the leading cause of weak airflow and high energy bills in residential homes. Cooling loss can be prevented by keeping your ducts clean and your air vents clear.
Never close or block your ventilation system. Doing so will reduce your cooling efficiency and cause pressure to build-up within your system, further jeopardizing your air conditioning network. When too much air accumulates within your ducts, air leaks spring as the pressure tears and cracks your ductwork. Hire professionals to clean your ducts and seal any air leaks found in your delivery system.
Change Air Filters
This is something that needs to be done every three months—at least. When your air filters are covered in dust, dirt, and grime, your indoor air quality becomes compromised. Even though air filter care will not affect your system’s ability to cool your home, it will affect you and your family’s health, especially when you are cranking the AC all day. Don’t forget to keep your air filters fresh!
Your Outdoor Condenser Unit
Inspect your outdoor condenser for built-up leaves and debris around the unit. Blockages can occur when the systems’ immediate surroundings are not clear and clean. Clogged interior components can negatively affect AC performance. Make sure all of your panels are secure to keep your electrical components safe from outdoor elements as well.
Check Refrigerant Lines
Your refrigerant lines should be insulated. Check for tears in insulation and have them repaired. If your lines are not insulated at all, your system is not reaching its full operational potential. Have insulation installed ASAP!
Once Your Self-Assessment Is Complete:
After assessing your cooling network for malfunction, you will want to address all problems immediately. Leaving defects unrepaired will prove expensive and your cooling capabilities will only continue to decline. If you do encounter a bump in the road while inspecting your unit, contact one of my professional air conditioning technician buddies, here at Winters® Home Services, to complete your repair or replacement.
They will not only fix your system—they will make sure it is running with high energy-efficiency to save you money, long-term.
Since we are on the topic of energy savings—here are a few alternative cooling tips that will keep your home comfortable while cutting your climate control costs:
Practice regular HVAC maintenance, hiring a professional to perform a full work-up at least once a year.
If you notice any weird noises or smells, contact an HVAC specialist immediately to avoid additional wear and tear on your unit. A malfunctioning unit is a costly one, as compromised systems have to work harder to complete cooling cycles.
Install a programmable thermostat into your home. This will prevent forgetfulness from interfering with your monthly utility costs. With a programmable thermostat, you will be able to set temperatures to adjust according to your schedule. This saves you money, as your system will raise the temperature in your home while you are out, and cool your space down before you return home.
Keep your lights off. They generate heat.
Bring your cooking outside to your barbeque! Cooking creates humidity within your home. Even with the proper ventilation, cooking in your home kitchen will raise the overall temperature of your home. The more you use your outdoor barbeque, the less you have to use your air conditioning system.
Switch the rotation of your ceiling fans. They should be spinning counter-clockwise to push cold air down into your home.
Do your laundry at night. This will prevent additional heat from your dryer seeping into your home.
Make sure your insulation isn’t compromised.
Shade the outdoor component to your air conditioning unit.
Keep your blinds or curtains closed. This will keep unwanted heat from the suns’ rays from warming your home.
Use lighter bedsheets during spring and summer so you are able to increase your thermostat’s temperature at night.
Close doors to unused rooms to prevent cooled air from entering areas that remain unused.
Optimize your cooling capabilities with us here at Winters® Home Services. Just contact us by dialing (617) 977-3101. We are here to help you achieve your ideal home climate while simultaneously lowering your overall costs to maintain your desired indoor temperature.
So, now that you know how, go troubleshoot your air conditioner! When the hot weather hits, you’ll be glad you did.
‘Til next time, folks!