7 Tips for Air Conditioner Start Up

spring-air-conditioner-preparationWith spring temperatures hitting the Twin Cities, it’s time to start preparing for the warmer weather. Here’s 7 tips to jumpstart your cooling system.

  1. Clean your air conditioner: Use a garden hose to give the outside unit a quick once over. Don’t use high pressure as this will damage the fins on the coil and cause all kinds of problems. All you want to do is wash off all the dirt, leaves and other debris so air can pass freely through the coil.
  2. Physically inspect the surroundings of the outside air conditioning unit: Cut down shrubs and weeds, along with other plants that have sprung up around the unit. Trim back your plantings and bushes to give a two foot clearance it. This essential step ensures that the unit will manage to draw in sufficient amounts of air to cool and refrigerant.
  3. Check the air filter: It is best to start the air conditioning season with a new air filter in place. A dirty filter will reduce air flow and may cause the air conditioning evaporator coil (“A” coil) to freeze up, and damage the furnace. Air filters may need to be replaced monthly, quarterly or yearly. Permanent air filters or electronic air filters require regular cleaning for optimal performance.
  4. Check condensate drain line: Be sure your condensate drain line from the indoor coil, (“A” coil) from either an up flow furnace or a down flow furnace to your floor drain or condensate pump is free of debris and will allow water to drain freely.
  5. Turn your humidifier off: Be sure the humidifier damper is set to SUMMER or CLOSED position. It should not be necessary to shut the water valve supplying water to the humidifier.
  6. Prepare thermostat and air conditioning system for summer: Set the thermostat to COOL, check the circuit breaker to confirm it has not been tripped, and that the outside electrical disconnect located near the outdoor AC unit is engaged. Be sure the thermostat is set to lower than the inside temperature of your home, so the air conditioner will start.
  7. Listen for changes in noise: The first day it reaches 70 degrees in March or April, turn your air conditioning unit on. Listen for any changes in noise from the previous cooling season. If you notice any changes in noise and sounds, it is important to have the operation of your air conditioning unit properly maintained by a qualified technician.
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