Three Summer AC Maintenance Mistakes To Avoid

As temperatures soar outside, the temptation to switch on the AC in your home becomes greater. Before switching over your thermostat, you need to make sure your AC is ready for the summer season. The following mistakes could leave you sweating if you aren't careful.

#1: Forgetting the cover

Many people place a cover of some sort over their outdoor AC unit, whether it's the condenser for the central AC or the protruding part of a window unit. If you are one of these people, don't forget to remove it before turning on the AC. Failure to do so can result in poor airflow, which causes poor performance and can cause the unit to overheat. Eventually, the compressor motor will burn out, resulting in a costly repair or making replacement of the entire AC necessary. If you don't cover your outside unit, you still need to check it before turning it on to make sure plants and debris aren't blocking the vents.

#2: Enjoying the spring air

When the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming, it can be tempting to open a window a small amount to enjoy the sounds, sights, and fragrance of the summer air. The problem is that this will suck your AC-cooled air outside, causing your HVAC unit to work harder to try and maintain the cool temperatures in your home. Go ahead and enjoy a summer breeze, but switch your thermostat over to fan-only mode first, and open up at least two windows on opposite sides of the home to allow air flow through the home. If it gets too warm, shut the windows before turning the AC back on.

#3: Skipping annual maintenance

Sure, the AC may seem to run fine right now, but it won't continue to do so if you don't maintain it properly. Annual maintenance isn't done to fix problems but to prevent them. Most homeowners know that they need to regularly clean or replace the filter in their AC. Other necessary maintenance includes cleaning out the condenser coils and the blower, lubricating any moving parts, straightening bent condenser fins, and replacing worn or damaged parts. The electrical systems, such as the thermostat and control box, should also be inspected, and any loose or worn parts may require repair or replacement.

Although you can learn to do the above tasks yourself, it can be a lot easier to have an HVAC technician perform your yearly AC service. This way you have the peace of mind that comes with a professional inspection.