Getting Your Air Conditioner Ready For Summer
It is the middle of summer and temperatures are rising. It is time for you to start using your air conditioner again. But have you prepared your AC for the long summer days?
It is recommended that you check to see that your AC is clean and in good working order to ensure the health and safety of your family and to keep your energy bill from climbing too high this summer.
Some things you should know about your
Before you even start preparing your air conditioner to be used this summer, you should at least have a basic understanding of how it works. There are four main components in each central air conditioning system. These components are the ductwork, outdoor unit (known as a condenser), indoor unit (known as an evaporator coil) and the blower motor in the furnace. Together these components transfer the warm, humid air from inside your home to the outside of your home, leaving you with cooled, dehumidified air.
Behind the walls, drywall and flooring are a series of rigid metallic tubes and trunks known as the ductwork. The ductwork is the distribution system in your home for the warm and cold air to travel. At times there are leaks in the ductwork which cause the air from your AC to escape into the walls. When that happens, the unit will need to work harder to cool your home resulting in higher energy costs. A good indicator of leaking ductwork is if your basement will be very cold and your second floor will be very warm in the summertime. This is a common problem in most homes and there is a non-invasive solution known as duct sealing which will correct these issues.
The blower in your furnace is the motor that moves the air throughout the home. In the summertime, it will pull all the hot, humid air back to the indoor part of the air conditioner that sits above the furnace behind the ductwork. This unit is connected to the outdoor unit by two copper lines. When the air conditioner is running, the refrigerant inside these copper lines will absorb the hot air inside and transfers it outside to the outdoor unit where it is released. The transfer of warm air outside leaves the air inside cold which the furnace motor then blows through the ductwork to all the rooms in your home. A by-product of this process is humidity removal which is the second function of an air conditioner after it removes the heat.
How to prepare your air conditioner
- Change the filters: Dust particles can reduce the efficiency and cooling capacity of your AC unit. Furnace filters prevent this from happening. However, very dirty filters will make it difficult for the blower in the furnace to circulate air which can cause the formation of ice. When the ice starts forming, your air conditioner will stop removing the heat, leaving your home warm and uncomfortable and add extra cost to your energy bills. For this reason, you should change your furnace filter every 1-2 months. If you have not done so, and you notice ice forming in the unit, you should call an HVAC technician right away.
- Keep the outdoor unit clean: To promote the energy-efficient operation of your air conditioner, make sure there isn’t anything around, on or near your outdoor unit. You should keep the grass around the unit low and trim bushes to keep them a few feet away from the unit. If there are tree branches hanging over the unit, you should have them removed. Also, remove leaves and twigs from and keep any items stored in the yard a few feet away. You should also use your water hose to wash away any dirt that may have accumulated on the outdoor unit at the beginning of each season to promote efficient operation.
- Clean the condensate drain: Attached to the indoor unit, you will find a thin plastic pipe that drips water when you use the AC. This pipe is known as the condensate drain and drips water continuously when the AC unit is running. Over time, it can become clogged with dust, debris and fungus. It is important to clean this drain at the beginning of each season and best to have a licensed HVAC technician come in to do this for you.
- Schedule an inspection: Probably the most important step in ensuring your central air conditioning system is fit for use this summer is to schedule annual maintenance and inspection by an HVAC technician. Regular maintenance of your air conditioner will help prevent any costly and inconvenient equipment failures this summer.
Are you searching for a Toronto air conditioning service provider?
If you are searching for a reputable HVAC company that offers air conditioning service in Toronto and the GTA, contact us at Martino HVAC.
At Martino HVAC, all our technicians are certified and licensed and have undergone complete background checks to ensure the best possible service and your safety. We are locally owned and operated and have served the Greater Toronto Area and Quinte Region for over 30 years.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today to schedule your Toronto and GTA air conditioning service.