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Service 4 Tips to Prepare Your A/C for Summer

May 06, 2021

There are two reasons you’ll want to call for air conditioning service: you want to be ready for the summer season, or it’s already hot and your A/C isn’t working. While McElroy’s proudly provides exceptional service in either situation, preventive maintenance will help you save money and avoid discomfort. Like your car, routine maintenance gives your A/C unit better efficiency, more reliable operation and a longer life. While investing a little in professional maintenance service can mean big energy savings and reduce uncomfortable and expensive surprises, here are four things you can do to help keep your A/C operating smoothly between professional check-ups.McElroy's Residential HVAC Service

1. Visually Inspect Your System

While a deep inspection is best performed by one of our expert technicians, there are things you might spot to predict and prevent air conditioner problems. Verify the air filter is in place and not missing, make sure all above ground supply vent registers are open and not restricting airflow. Basement vents can be closed in the cooling season as that air will be needed on the higher levels of the home on hot days. If you see water on the floor around your indoor equipment, that may indicate a problem with your condensate drain line. Does the outdoor unit need cleaned or are there things growing around it which need trimmed or cut back?

2. Change the Filter

Change your air filter before its gets too dirty and starts to restrict the airflow. A dirty air filter causes loss of cooling capacity and operating efficiency as your unit is unable to circulate the normal amount of air through your ductwork system. Dirty air filters are a concern we see most often on problem service calls, especially for those who don’t have professional routine maintenance performed annually.

3. Check the Condensation Drain

Water on the floor around the indoor unit is a common call we get, especially when the weather is very humid. This is because of a clogged condensation drain line. As the refrigerant moves through your system, humidity in the air condenses on the evaporator coils – just like a glass of ice tea on a summer day. Your unit has a drain pipe to move water away, and that drain may become clogged with algae. To prevent this, remove the drain cap and pour a cup of bleach or vinegar through the drain once a year. You can also use a wet/dry shop vac to suck out the drain pipe from its end.

4. Clean the Outdoor Unit

Take a look at the outdoor unit to make sure the condenser coils are not restricting airflow due to buildup of things like cottonwood fuzz, grass clippings, dust or dirt. This is the section of the system where the refrigerant needs to transfer the heat that was removed from inside your home to the outside environment. You can wash the outdoor coils using a garden hose. First, find the electrical box and turn the system’s power off. Angle your garden hose nozzle downward to push dirt and debris down the face of the unit. Do not use a pressure washer as you may risk bending the coils. Be sure your outdoor unit has 18 inches of clear air flow around it by maintaining surrounding grass, plants and shrubs.McElroy's Residential Air Conditioner Service

Time for Professional Maintenance?

Professional maintenance will prolong the life, reliability and efficiency of your air conditioner – saving you money and sweat. We recommend having your air conditioner checked annually, every cooling season. It’s never too early or too late to have your system serviced! Be sure to ask about the many benefits of our Peak Performance Maintenance Plan.

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