“But Olive, it isn’t summer yet!” That’s true, but I’m here to help you get started for summer, which is not too far away. We can start getting full summer temperatures in May. This is why I encourage all my loyal readers to have any big jobs they need to be done for their HVAC system scheduled now. For example, if you think you need a new AC installation in Knoxville, TN, now is the time to talk to us about it.
If you don’t have any major HVAC service need, there are still some “summer starter” jobs you can do to help your air conditioning system work its best. Here are a few of my top tips.
Check for a “settling” condenser
The outdoor condenser for your AC sits on a concrete slab to keep it balanced. This slab can shift and sink over the years, and you can expect it to move at least a bit during the time you have your air conditioner. This small movement shouldn’t be a problem. But if the slab is sinking or shifting in a way that’s starting to put pressure on the refrigerant lines coming from the condenser, that can be a big problem—one you can count on us to fix!
Keep the condenser clean and clear of debris
The condenser needs to have enough clear space around it—about a foot on all sides—so it can easily exhaust the heat from indoors. Make sure you clear away any leaves and branches that are near it. (I also recommend caution when mowing around the condenser, because grass clippings can easily get into the grill.) If the condenser is dirty, wash it down with a hose on low pressures. Don’t blast water into the fins, as you might bend them. If you have a vacuum with a hose and soft brush attachment, you can vacuum up debris from the fins on the outside. (Please don’t open the condenser do try to do any cleaning inside.)
Replace the air filter regularly
I know I bring this one up often, but it’s the #1 cause of easily avoidable air conditioning problems. We recommend you change the filter at the start of the cooling season (we’ll do it for you during maintenance, and we’re glad to show you how it’s done), and then on a regular schedule for the rest of the season. Simple panel filters need to be replaced every month, pleated filters every three, and media filters can sometimes last for four to six months.
Schedule maintenance with us
I put this last because I hope you already remembered to do it. If you didn’t, I’m glad you read to the end. Maintenance is the most important service we offer, and it’s the best thing you can have done for your AC each year. Our technicians will take care of all the maintenance jobs that you shouldn’t attempt to do on your own, such as tightening electrical connections, testing refrigerant pressure, and cleaning coils. When we give your AC a clean bill of health after maintenance, you can expect an easy summer of cooling ahead.