Spring arrives early in the southwest. The heavy rains of winter 2019 have produced a proliferation of colorful spring flowers and blooming buds all over the Valley of the Sun. The cooler 70s of March give way to the high 80s of April heading for 90-degree temperatures and above in May. Many Phoenix homeowners fire up their air conditioner for the first time in April, which generally means their air conditioner has been sitting idle for four to five months.
Preparing for the Long Summer Ahead
For your home air conditioner, heading into spring and summer in Arizona is a little like preparing for a long automobile trip through the desert. You wouldn’t want to drive off without checking your gas, oil, fluids and engine. Taking the time for a few common-sense precautions insures a safe trip ahead. The same is true of your complex air conditioner. Your system will be running full tilt for months. Before you power up for the first time, it’s a good idea to kick the tires (so to speak) and examine the following:
- Check Your Thermostat – As the control device for the entire HVAC system, you’d be surprised how many people forget to make sure their thermostat has fresh batteries for the season and is working properly. You might want to consider upgrading to a new wi-fi enabled smart thermostat, which can help save time and reduce energy costs. Be sure to lower the temperature setting – don’t power up on full blast.
- Do A Basic Inspection of Your HVAC System – Set aside some time to do a walk through and inspect all the physical components of your HVAC system. Check the power and confirm the circuits breakers are on. Check the condenser outside and make sure there are no branches, leaves or debris clogging the unit. Look at the vents and ducts to make sure there are no signs of leaks or damage. Look at wires and fittings for signs of wear and tear.
- Replace Your Air Filters – Replacing the air filters before you turn on for the first time (and on a regular basis all summer) helps eliminate dirt and dust from getting into your AC system. It is also helpful to vacuum the dust and dirt in the area surrounding your AC unit. Clean air filters improve the indoor air quality of your home.
- Stop, Look and Listen – When you power up for the first time, take the time to listen to your system. Are there any weirds noises or thumping sounds? High pitched whining, ka-chunking and other odd sounds may indicate that service is required.
The Easiest Way to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Summer Is to Give Us A Call
Your air conditioner is one of the most expensive investments you have in your home. We advise our clients to schedule service calls in spring and fall. If you missed service last fall, please give us a call before you power up your unit this spring. As Ben Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.