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3 Ways to Prepare Your AC System for Summer

2020 Apr 22
Posted in:
Air Conditioner in Phoenix

The last thing you want is for your AC to break down in the middle of a sweltering, Arizona summer—right when you need your air conditioner the most.

The good news is you can prevent that unfortunate scenario by preparing your AC now.

We’ll share 3 ways to get your AC in good shape for the summer:

  • Check your air filter
  • Make sure the outdoor unit is clean
  • Schedule professional maintenance

Let’s look at each of these tips in more detail.

Tip #1: Check your air filter

The purpose of your air filter is to catch airborne dust and debris so they don’t enter your AC system. However, dust and debris can eventually clog the filter to the point where airflow is restricted, limiting the amount of warm air entering the AC to be cooled. 

If your AC isn’t pulling in a sufficient amount of air, it can cause problems such as:

  1. Higher energy bills: Your AC will have to work longer to cool your home, which results in more energy usage.
  2. A frozen indoor unit: If warm air isn’t blowing over the evaporator coil, it can get very cold and freeze, causing your AC to stop working.

Clean (left) vs dirty (right) air filter

To avoid these problems, we recommend checking your air filter and replacing it if it is dirty. During the summer, we recommend checking your filter once a month to make sure it isn’t clogged with dirt and debris. 

Tip #2: Make sure the outdoor unit is clean

Think of your AC like a heat sponge: The indoor part of your AC absorbs heat from your home’s air and the outdoor unit disperses that heat into the outdoor air.


The outdoor unit of a central AC system

If the outdoor unit is blocked or dirty, then the heat can’t be released as easily, which causes your system to work extra hard and eventually overheat. 

To avoid high energy bills and a potentially expensive repair, we recommend cleaning your outdoor unit before summer starts.

 

Here’s how to clean your outdoor unit:

  • Remove any sticks, leaves or large debris from the coils. Coils are the tiny fins that surround the outdoor unit.
  • Trim any shrubbery that is within 3 feet of the unit. This will ensure your outdoor unit has enough “breathing room” to disperse heat. 
  • If your coils are visibly dirty, wash the outdoor unit with a garden hose sprayer on its lowest setting. Be careful not to use a high setting as this could potentially damage the coils.

Tip #3: Schedule professional maintenance

The BEST way to prepare your AC for summer is to schedule an annual maintenance visit with a professional. 

Why?

During a maintenance visit (also called a “tune-up” or “check-up”), a professional will inspect the important components of your AC system to make sure they are working properly. In addition, the technician will clean and lubricate parts so that they operate efficiently. 

If all the components in your AC are working properly and efficiently, you’ll get benefits such as:

  • Lower monthly energy bills
  • More even, comfortable indoor temperatures
  • Reduced chance of a breakdown mid-summer

When you hire a contractor to maintain your AC, ask them which parts they will inspect and clean. The more parts the technician maintains, the better.

Note: Our technicians perform a 21-point check-up.

Ready to schedule your annual AC check-up?

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We’ve served residents in the Greater Phoenix area since 1955. Our highly-trained technicians offer exceptional AC service and world-class customer service for every job.