What to Do Before Turning on the AC After Winter

As warmer temperatures approach and the anticipation of summer builds, having a functioning air conditioner is vital. But before you turn on your air conditioner for the season, it’s important to ensure your cooling system is fully prepared to help you beat the heat! 

When Do I Turn My AC On?

Don’t wait until that first toasty day to crank the AC. After months of sitting inactive, your unit will need some extra attention. You’ll want to check your indoor and outdoor air conditioning components for any problems before you need them for the long summer months.

Steps to Take Before Turning Your AC On After Winter

1. Clean and Inspect Your Outdoor Condenser

Some homeowners like to cover their outdoor units in the winter to protect them from the elements. If you do, uncover it before turning your AC unit on. Forgetting to do so restricts airflow and causes overheating, possibly resulting in major damage. 

Always remove all leaves, dirt, and other debris and see whether any panels are missing. Weed any vegetation that is growing against the unit, ideally leaving two feet of open space on all sides. 

2. Inspect Your Indoor Equipment

Your indoor equipment includes the electrical connections, circuit breaker, refrigerant line, evaporator coils, and blower fan. Ensuring these are in working order before turning your AC on is important. Contact your HVAC professionals at Advantage Heating & Air Conditioning if you discover any damage, are unsure of what you’re doing, or encounter any other issues. 

  • Electrical Connections: Make sure your electrical connections are intact. This includes looking for damaged or frayed wires. 
  • Circuit Breaker: You might have switched off your circuit breaker for your outdoor AC unit as the weather became colder, or maybe it got tripped during the wintertime. Ideally, switch it back on 24 hours before using your air conditioner.
  • Refrigerant Line: The refrigerant line holds the fluid that evaporates and condenses during the cooling cycle. Make sure there is no ice around the line. This can be an indicator that the evaporator coil is frozen.
  • Evaporator Coil: Evaporator coils remove heat from the air coming entering your AC system. Clean the coils to prevent them from wasting energy. 
  • Blower Fan: The blower fan moves room-temperature air over the evaporator coil. Ensure the blades are clean by vacuuming debris and wiping them down. Then, tighten the mounting bolts and lubricate the motor if needed. 

3. Check Your Vents, Ducts, & Air Filter

Vents, ducts, and air filters ensure cool air circulates effectively through your home. Before turning your AC on, do a quick walk through your house to inspect and clean these components. 

If you find any problems in your inspection, contact Advantage Heating & Air Conditioning for your repairs. 

  • Vents: Double-check that all vents in your home are open. This means moving all clutter blocking the vents and opening all louvers to prevent air pressure from being thrown off in your ducts. Also, clear away any dust over the grates. 
  • Ducts: Ensure any exposed ductwork is without cracks or leaks to avoid significant energy loss. Don’t forget to look for gaps in the seams, and if there is accessible ductwork in attics, crawlspaces, or basements, inspect these too. 
  • Air Filter: Check your air filter is clean and debris-free to allow for adequate airflow and higher efficiency. Air filters should be cleaned every month and replaced every three months of use. If you have a permanent type, you should clean it every three months. 

4. Test the AC System

After you’ve checked your outdoor condenser, inside equipment, vents, ducts, and air filter, you’re ready to turn your AC on for a test run!  Using your thermostat, change the setting to “cool” and ensure it’s set to the desired temperature. Setting the correct temperature prevents your air conditioner from working harder than it should. 

Once you turn it on, you should feel cool air flowing through the house within a few minutes. Pay close attention to signs of inefficiencies. If you notice odd smells or noises, or the presence of warm air for a prolonged period, turn your AC off and contact your HVAC professionals at Advantage Heating & Air Conditioning for an inspection. 

Schedule an AC Maintenance Appointment in Columbus

After completing your inspection, having professional maintenance on your AC unit is still a great idea. Routine maintenance protects your AC unit from developing inefficiencies and ensures your system continues to run at its best. Professionals have the appropriate training and equipment to catch something you might have missed. 

Advantage Heating & Air Conditioning is a trusted HVAC partner for homeowners in the Columbus, IN area. Our team is prepared to handle all your maintenance needs, and you can be confident that our experienced technicians are dedicated to excellent service. 

To schedule reliable, detail-oriented maintenance give us a phone call or fill out our online contact form.

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