Turning on AC After Winter: 7 Crucial Reminders

Turning on the AC after winter is a great way to get ready for the warmer months. But these units need care and maintenance in order to perform properly. They can develop a variety of problems after a year of hard work and several months sitting dormant.

HVAC systems are multi-faceted and there are several different components to clean and inspect. If there’s a problem, you need to identify it before the truly hot weather arrives. Nobody wants to deal with a faulty air conditioner in the middle of summer!

Ignoring early warning signs can lead to expensive repairs later on. So if you’re getting ready for warmer weather, check out our AC maintenance services in Lubbock.

1. Check and Program the Thermostat

The thermostat is easy to overlook during your inspection, but it’s a vital part of every AC system. Change the batteries if necessary and set a reasonable temperature.

Remember: Don’t set the thermostat extremely low to try to get your air conditioner to work faster. This just puts unnecessary strain on the system.

2. Uncover the Outdoor Unit

It’s a good idea to cover up your outdoor unit when it’s not in use. When you’re ready to reactivate your AC, remove the cover and clear away any debris that may have built up. Leaves, dirt, loose trash, and other items can restrict airflow, so get rid of these obstructions.

You’ll also need to clear a two-foot radius in every direction to improve airflow. This might involve doing some yard work, such as cutting long grass, removing sprouts, and trimming bushes. Check for refrigerant leaks or icy buildup as well. 

3. Inspect Ducts and Vents

Air ducts are crucial to the performance of your HVAC system. Your AC won’t work nearly as well if these elements are clogged or damaged. Carefully examine all the exposed ductwork you can access. Look for cracks, holes, or leaks. 

Don’t overlook the vents either! These often trap dust and debris, but you can use a vacuum hose or a damp cloth to remove most of the buildup. It’s difficult to inspect ducts that aren’t exposed, so just do what you can and then call in the experts.

4. Replace the Air Filter

Regularly changing the air filter is a crucial part of HVAC maintenance. You should generally do this once per month for the best results. Dirty filters can lead to clogs in your ducts, which then makes it harder for cool air to come through. 

It’s easy to forget about a small thing like an air filter when you’re turning on the AC after winter. However, it plays a key role in the overall performance of the system. Make sure to use the right type of filter and keep a few replacements on hand so you never run out.

Your AC will run more efficiently if you make this a habit. It has even been estimated that regularly replacing air filters can lower your energy consumption by 15%. This practice will also improve your indoor air quality because it prevents dust and debris buildup within the ducts.

5. Check Breakers and Electrical Wiring

Every part of an AC system requires regular maintenance. If you’re trying to turn it on and nothing happens, there may be an electrical issue. Before you do anything else, check the breakers to ensure that they’re all flipped to the correct position.

Next, you should visually inspect the various wires and connection points around the unit. Look for anything that’s loose, damaged, or disconnected.

6. Test the System Early

When you’re getting ready to turn on the AC again, don’t wait until temperatures are in the triple digits! Test everything early in the season so you have time to fix any potential problems. 

Once the outdoor temperature starts to creep into the 60s, you can run a test on your AC. Set your thermostat and let everything run for about 15 minutes. Look out for any unusual sounds or smells during this period. If warm air comes out of the ducts, this is a clear sign of trouble.

7. Schedule a Professional Inspection

Turning on the AC after winter can reveal all kinds of problems. Some can be fixed on your own, but others require professional maintenance services.

For the best performance, you should get your AC inspected and tuned up once per year. HVAC technicians can inspect hidden ductwork, identify leaks, replace broken parts, and give you tips on how to maintain your system!

Contact us for expert AC repair in the Lubbock area.