Everyone who lives in Alabama knows that the summers regularly get hot and humid. In fact, the average high temperature in the Decatur area is around 90 degrees in July, making it the least comfortable month of the year.
Therefore, it’s important to check and ensure your AC system is ready to go before that time of the year arrives, to prevent any costly breakdowns and other issues that tend to crop up during the hottest days of the year. Spring is a good time to go through the following checklist to get your HVAC system ready to work at its best.
Start Easy with Your Filter
Your filter is the easiest part of your HVAC system to replace, and it’s also a good line of defense against mold, dust, and other allergens that could circulate through your home. Typically, your filter is located inside your HVAC cabinet or near an air intake and should be easy to access. If clogged with dust or pet hair, replace the filter.
Ensure you choose the right size of filter. The dimensions should be printed clearly on the cardboard border. Paying attention to the MERV rating helps if you’re also looking to improve indoor air quality—the higher the number, the more allergens and particles a filter will remove from air that flows through it.
Clear the Area Around Your Outdoor Unit
Since Decatur only averages a couple of inches of snow per year, plants and weeds are the most likely thing to obstruct the area around your outdoor AC unit. Also known as the condenser unit, this is where you’ll find the fan and coils.
Making sure all tall grass, weeds, and other obstructions are clear from this area will improve air flow to your AC system and help it run more efficiently. Moving the area around the unit and weeding will also help.
Failing to clean the area around this unit may lead to clogged condenser coils as dirt, leaves, and other natural debris gathers inside.
If Needed, Clean the Condenser Coils
Your condenser coils are located inside your outdoor AC unit and can be accessed by removing a panel. After turning off power to the condenser, using a coil brush and commercial cleaner can help you remove any debris that are stuck on the coils.
Professional coil cleaning services are also available if you are not comfortable doing so yourself and are unsure if you can carry out the maintenance safely.
Check the Refrigerant Lines
You can find your refrigerant lines going from your outdoor AC unit and into your home. Ensure that none have frost on them or any obvious leaks. These lines should have unbroken foam around them for insulation, and if this is damaged, be sure to replace it. This is a task easily done yourself.
Test For Issues
Once you’ve done all your maintenance and checks, it’s time to turn the thermostat to cool and make sure your AC runs as it should.
Your unit should begin working immediately once turned on, unlike a furnace which often takes a minute or two to start blowing hot air. Ensure that cool air is coming out of each vent, and if any ducts are exposed, such as in a basement, now is a good time to check for air leaks.
Need More Assistance?
If you have any issues with your AC system or need help with your maintenance, be sure to contact us today if you’re in the Decatur, Alabama area. We’re here to keep you cool all summer long.