As Minnesotans, we love the warm days of summer. I mean, we deserve the warm temps after the cold winters we endure each year! But as much as we love the hot temps and sunny days, some summer days are better spent indoors, in the comfort of your central air conditioner!
With the official start of summer still a little ways out, now is the time to make sure your central air conditioner is in working order. Danny from Stay Comfy, Minnesota offers some of his expert tips on prepping your air conditioner for summer:
- First things first, if you covered your A/C during the winter, be sure to remove the cover as this will cause the unit to not displace the hot air, and could cause the compressor to fail.
- If you did not clean the outdoor unit last fall, take your garden hose and spray of the outside coil. Although it should be safe to work with the power “on”, disconnect the unit power at the outdoor disconnect, just to be safe. Best practice is to spray from the inside out, pushing any debris out of the coil opposite the way it came in (opposite the airflow). This practice will save you money because the system is able to transfer heat more efficiently, using less electrical energy.
- Cleaning is recommended to be done periodically throughout the season depending on the accumulation from cottonwoods and other air restricting debris. Also, make sure that the vegetation has not overgrown around the outdoor unit. Prune as needed to allow maximum airflow through the unit. A minimum of 12″ clearance from all vegetation is required, 18″ would be even better. Remember, more air equals less
- Make sure the power is “on” at the outdoor unit. If you turned it off in the fall either by the circuit breaker in the house, or at the disconnect outside, be sure to turn the power to the outside unit back on. Missing this step will turn the blower on for the furnace, giving the impression the A/C should be running. Sometimes homeowners will miss this step and call for a repair, costing to homeowner money for a service call that may not have been necessary. Note that older systems may need power applied for 24 hours for the crankcase heater to warm the oil in the compressor. If you are not sure if your unit has a crankcase heater or not, be safe and wait 24 hours before allowing the unit to run.
- Clean the drain for the indoor condensate. There are a couple types of fittings that connect to the evaporator coil (above the furnace typically) that should also be cleaned, including the screw-on fittings and the PVC fitting. The PVC fitting is glued on and not removable without cutting the drain line apart. My recommendation for cleaning the PVC drain is, if possible, to pour warm water with a cap full of bleach down the PVC drain. Pour the water slowly as to not get water all over the floor. The bleach will kill any bacteria or algae which can create a blockage.
- CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER for best airflow. Changing your air filter assures you that you will get the airflow you need for great A/C operation.
If you feel uncomfortable in prepping your system for the upcoming season, please contact your Minnesota Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer for assistance.