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How to Get Your Air Conditioner Ready After Winter

How warm does it have to be to test an air conditionerWith the cold winter days finally behind us, the time to rely on our trusted air conditioners once again is drawing nearer. However, transitioning between using your furnace to your AC is not as simple as pressing a button and turning on your cooling system. There are some steps you can take to prepare your AC after winter to make sure it’s working properly after months of inactivity.

If you live in a warmer area like Moreno Valley or Riverside, you’d want to make sure your air conditioner is ready for the spring. It’s a wise choice to hire professionals for AC repair and maintenance. After inspecting your AC in detail, NATE-certified technicians will perform tasks to ensure each part of the unit is working optimally. Your unit should keep you nice and comfortable during the spring and summer.

Whether you decide to schedule a spring AC tune up or not, you should know how to properly turn on your cooling system after winter to prevent inconsistent performance and expensive repairs. Read on to learn more.

How warm does it have to be to test an air conditioner?

Before we discuss the specifics, we should note that you shouldn’t wait for the weather to get too hot before turning on your air conditioner. But, refrain from testing your AC while it’s freezing outside as well. Experts recommend testing your air conditioner when the outside temperature has been above 60 degrees for two days.

Essentially, you should test your AC while it’s still not too cold or too warm outside to enable it to get back into gear more gradually. What’s more, you will be able to catch any issues with your unit before the heating season starts and it gets more difficult to schedule a repair appointment.

How do I start my AC after winter?

In order to fully prepare your air conditioner for the summer season, both the indoor and the outdoor units of your system will require attention.

Indoor unit

Before you turn on your AC, you should take some time to address any indoor unit concerns. Take the following steps to prepare the indoor part of your air conditioner:

  • Clean the vents: if your AC has been inactive for months, there is a great chance that dust and dirt have accumulated inside the vents. This can decrease your indoor air quality, as it can circulate airborne contaminants throughout your home. Make sure to check and clean the vents to remove any dirt and dust that may have settled there.
  • Inspect the ductwork: ductwork inefficiencies can cause homes throughout the U.S. to lose up to 30 percent of energy. This is why it’s important to inspect and seal your ductwork before the cooling season begins. Look for signs of damage in your ductwork, especially in crawl spaces, attic, and basement, and hire HVAC technicians to handle any issues.
  • Change the filter: before you turn your unit on, make sure to check and replace your filter. AC filters can quickly get clogged with dust and dirt, especially after months of inactivity, which can contribute to lower efficiency, malfunctions, or breakdowns.
  • Inspect your thermostat: is your thermostat old or inefficient? If so, consider purchasing a new programmable thermostat before the spring season to maximize efficiency and ensure even cooling throughout your home.

Outdoor unit

The outdoor components of your air conditioning system also need to be inspected before use during the spring. This can optimize airflow and make sure that the condenser unit is in tip-top shape after months of inactivity. Take the following steps:

  • Remove AC covers: many homeowners choose to cover their outdoor condenser units during the winter months. While this is not recommended for a number of reasons, it is important to remove any covers before using the system for the first time. Running your AC with a cover on may cause a variety of problems fairly quickly.
  • Inspect for damage: before turning on the system, check the unit’s outdoor panels and electrical connections for damage. If you notice that any panels are missing or misaligned, make sure to contact HVAC experts to prevent safety risks. Also, make sure to check out the AC line set running from the outdoor unit to your home, as the insulated sleeve wrapping them can sustain cracks, fraying, and other forms of damage.
  • Remove debris: it is important to clear away any twigs, leaves, and dirt that may have accumulated along the outdoor unit, as debris can restrict airflow and lower your system’s efficiency.

How preventive AC maintenance can help

The best way to ensure optimal performance of your unit and prevent expensive breakdowns in the summer is to schedule an AC tune-up. Here’s how it can help:

  • Regular maintenance boosts the efficiency of your unit which can bring you great energy savings.
  • Preventive maintenance can also minimize the risk of unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs.
  • Routine maintenance can extend your AC’s lifespan, maximizing its value.
  • Not sticking to a routine maintenance schedule can void your warranty and cause you to pay out of pocket for any repairs.

Need expert AC repair and maintenance? Give us a call.

How do I start my AC after winterAction Air Conditioning & Heating Installation a long-standing company offering reliable and convenient heating and cooling services to residents of La Jolla, Encinitas, Moreno Valley and the rest of San Diego and  Riverside County. With industry-leading equipment and skilled experience, we are a team of motivated professionals aiming to maximize your indoor comfort year round. Whether you’re thinking about scheduling a spring tune-up or need emergency repair, rest assured that we’ll handle the task with professionalism and efficiency.

Our licensed HVAC technicians excel at installing, repairing, and servicing all kinds of HVAC systems owing to their vast experience and expertise. Not only can we repair any issues with your current cooling system, but we can also recommend the best cutting edge replacement for your home and install it following the highest industry standards. No matter what your heating and cooling needs may be, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and maximize your comfort.


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