How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Summer

We’re coming up on Summer which means high temperatures and running the AC all day.

We have found that there are two types of people when it comes to their AC.

  1. People who turn on the air conditioner and pray it doesn’t break down over the summer
  2. People who understand that their HVAC system is a mechanical appliance and know that a little bit of maintenance can go a long way

If you’re the second type of person, this post is for you. 

Homeowner Maintenance

As a homeowner there is a limited amount of maintenance you can do, but it can make a big difference. 

Air Filters

First, check your air filter and change it often. Air flow through your HVAC system is one of the biggest factors regarding how it operates. A dirty or clogged filter will suffocate the system, cause the evaporator coil to freeze up and cause the blower motor to fail. All of which cause unnecessary break downs, usually on the hottest days of the year. 

If you have a 1” filter we recommend changing it monthly, when you get your electricity bill (that way you stay consistent). If you have a 2” filter, you can change it every 2-3 months as needed. If you have a 4” filter we recommend changing it every 6 months.

Click here for a short video on changing your air filter.

Condenser Cleaning

Second, clean your condenser outside. Airflow is just as important for your condenser as it is for your ductwork. As air flows through the condenser the heat that was absorbed in your home is extracted from your refrigerant and it condenses back into a liquid. If your condenser gets clogged up with dirt, dust, pollen, grass, etc. then the air cannot pass through it and the refrigerant will stay a hot gas. This can cause the pressure to get too high and the condenser to shut off as a safety precaution, not to mention other issues that can be caused.

A basic cleaning is easy and well within your ability as a homeowner. Simply hose down the sides of the condenser starting at the top and sweeping side to side as you slowly work your way down. You’ll watch as the water runs out of the bottom of the condenser looking like chocolate milk. This means it is working. 

Drain Flush

Finally, you’ll want to clean the drains. The evaporator coil, which is part of the indoor unit, should have a piece of 3/4” PVC coming out of it. This is the condensate drain. As air passes over your evaporator coil the moisture condenses on the coil and runs down to an internal drain pan. That pan then directs the water out through the PVC line. If this drain clogs, which they frequently do, water can back up into your system and over flow into your home, ruining ceilings, walls, and floors. Or, if your system has a float switch, it will back up into this switch and shut off your AC (to prevent flooding). 

That drain line should have a vent, another piece of 3/4” PVC that points up into the air. Start by pouring 2 to 3 cups of water down this vent and into the drain line. Then pour 1 cup of bleach or distilled vinegar in as well. Let that sit for 5 minutes or so then finish up by pouring 2 to 3 more cups of water in to flush out the bleach.

Wrapping up

While we recommend hiring a professional HVAC company to come do a full maintenance on your system twice a year, these are a few things you, as a homeowner, can do yourself to help ensure your system runs without issue for the coming season. 

Choose Prestige Air to Keep Your HVAC Running Optimally

If you experience problems with your heating and cooling call Prestige Air. Our expert service professionals have the training and experience to keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape all year long. Call (817) 200-7215 to make sure your heating and cooling are ready for the season!

Prestige Air proudly serves Northeast Tarrant County and the Fort Worth, Texas area including Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake, Westlake, Trophy Club, Keller, Watauga, Haltom City, and North Richland Hills. We look forward to serving you and your household!

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At ​Prestige Air, we’re a team full of passionate heating and air conditioning technicians who care deeply about our clients. We know that issues with your heating and cooling can be a headache and our goal is to get your issues resolved ASAP so you can get back to living your life stress-free.

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