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Here's how to get your A/C ready for a hot summer

Make sure your A/C can handle any heat wave this summer with these 12 tips.

Soaking in the summer sun is part of the fun of the season. But if you don’t have a cool home to retreat to, that heat can start to feel overbearing. Make sure your A/C can handle any heat wave this summer with these 12 tips, plus guidance on how to know when to call in the pros.

Before beginning preparation steps for either an air conditioner, just make sure the unit is turned off and disconnected from power.

Prepping Your Air Conditioner

  1. Clean the filters

Remove the filter from the unit and vacuum away dust and buildup. If there’s more buildup than your vacuum can handle, you can wash the filter in the sink or with a hose. If the filters are very dirty, or it’s been longer than three months, you’ll need to replace them.

  1. Clean condensate lines

The condensate lines draw water from the evaporator coils and run it into the drain pan. You can make sure these lines are clog-free using a vacuum to suck out any debris and then pour a mixture of vinegar and water through the lines. 

  1. Check coolant lines

Examine the lines that carry the refrigerant to ensure there aren’t any signs of leaks. If you do see signs of leaking, you may want to call an HVAC professional to repair the unit.

  1. Remove debris from around condenser unit

Sweep away any leaves and debris from around the condenser unit and vacuum or hose debris from the walls of the unit itself. This allows your A/C to efficiently release the heat that it draws out of your home. 

  1. Check the ductwork

Ducts don’t often need cleaning, but it’s important to take care of the situation quickly when they do. If you see pet hair emerging from your ducts or notice a foul smell coming from any of them, it’s time to call in an HVAC professional. 

  1. Clean supply and return vents

Ensure your A/C can efficiently pump cold air into your home and pull hot air out by cleaning the supply and return vents inside the house. 

  1. Test the unit

Do a test run of the unit on a warm day to determine if air is blowing from all of the vents and the house is cooling adequately.

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If after that first-day test run, your A/C is not adequately cooling your home, or it’s turning off when it shouldn’t or making loud noises, it’s time to call in the pros.

Keep in mind that an A/C unit lifespan is only around ten years. After this age, you may want to consider replacing the unit. You’ll almost certainly see some savings on your electricity bill with a more efficient model, and you’ll stay cooler through the hot days of summer.

A broken or under-functioning air conditioner can make summer miserable. Make sure yours is ready to help you beat the heat of the season!