Keep your Air Conditioner in Good Shape for the Summer Ahead
Well, it’s inevitable. Every year it’s just a matter of time before the first wave of heat hits the central valley of northern California. I see a few waves of temperatures hit us at different levels of intensity, forcing customers to decide if they are going to stick it out a little while longer without repairing their AC or go ahead and call for a repair. If you don’t have your AC regularly checked by Fox Family, here are some things you can do to prepare your AC and give it a good chance of performing well for you this summer.
Check the batteries in your thermostat
Double-A batteries are the most common ones you’ll find in your thermostat. You can usually pull the front plastic cover off its base to see the batteries. If you haven’t changed them in a year or two, go ahead and do that now. If you see any green corrosion on the batteries, that would be another indicator that it’s time to change your batteries.
Change your filters
You may have one or two filters around your house that need to be changed regularly. Doing this allows your system to take in a big deep breath before breathing out to give you every bit of air it’s capable of giving. Plus, if your filters aren’t perfectly white, it’s time to change them anyway. Nobody wants to breathe in that brown stuff that gets caught in the filters.
Clean your AC coil
You may not know this, but your outdoor coil also acts as a filter of sorts. The fins and coil on the side of the unit pull in air, also catching pollen and dust. The fan on top discharges the air, removing the heat from your house. Rinsing off these coils with a hose before summer hits is an excellent way to prepare your AC. And for all those Tim Allen arr-arr-arr DIY’ers, please don’t use a pressure washer to complete this task. Those fins are pretty rigid and won’t bend unless you apply a lot of pressure to them. You can bend them pretty easily by pushing with your finger, so use less force than that. Remember, we’re just trying to knock off the dust.
Cut back your shrubs
Part of letting your outdoor AC unit breathe means cutting your shrubs back at least 12 inches from the side of the unit. If you can, do your service technician a big favor and remove them altogether. Nobody wants to work with thorns from a rose bush poking into their shoulders, back, and face while working on your unit. If you must have them, though, cutting your shrubs back allows the air to enter through the sides of your AC and discharged through the top, which removes the heat from your house.
If you have some sort of temperature measuring device, like a meat thermometer, check the temperature difference between the air entering your system and the air coming out of your registers. If you know where your filter is that you change out every couple of months, that is where you take your first reading. The second reading you take is at one of the registers. A bedroom is fine for this. Subtract the second reading from the first one. What you’re looking for is a difference between 18 and 24 degrees. If you don’t see this range of numbers, it may be time to schedule a service call https://www.foxfamilyhvac.com/air-conditioning-repair/ from Fox Family Heating and Air. Anything lower than 18 and you risk high electric bills from a system that is running too long. Anything higher than 24 and you risk a system that could freeze up and stop blowing air altogether. All the condensation that naturally occurs at the indoor unit can freeze up. Then when the AC shuts off, the ice rapidly melts, causing water damage to the system or causing damage to your floors or ceiling.
You can do these five things to prepare your AC for the summer. They’re pretty simple checks you can do as a homeowner to give your AC system a good head start going into this summer. 2020 is going to be a hot one.