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Air Conditioner Startup Tips

If your A/C stops working on one of the hottest days of the summer, it could turn out to be a very uncomfortable day. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make a breakdown less likely to occur. Here’s how to avoid finding yourself in this sticky situation this year.

Step #1 – Have an annual tune-up

If you are a fan of peace of mind, the easiest thing you can do in order to make sure your A/C is ready for the summer season is to have a qualified HVAC professional come out and take a look at it. They’ll do a number of checks on your equipment, ensuring that your unit is working efficiently and effectively throughout the year.

If you would rather get the unit up and running on your own, the next steps cover the things you need to do.

Step #2 – Remove the winter cover

This might seem obvious to you, but it’s an easy one to forget when you switch on the A/C on that first hot day of the season.

Step #3 – Turn the power on

There is a disconnect box that should be on your house near the air conditioner. You need to make sure that the switch is in the on position in order to allow the unit to turn on when needed. This could make you think that your air conditioner is broken when in fact you just need to turn the power on. Oops!

Step #4 – Remove any blockages

Most people don’t find air conditioners are the best lawn ornaments so some plant bushes around the A/C so that it becomes less visible. However, you need to have sufficient room between any bushes, trees or other items and the A/C. This will ensure the unit has room to breathe throughout the season.

Step #5 – Clean the unit

Grab your trusty garden hose and give your A/C a good wash. You’ll want to make sure that you get rid of any debris that may have found its way in there during the winter and spring seasons.

Step #6 – Check the hoses and pipes

This is really one step where a qualified HVAC technician would benefit you greatly. However, if you choose to do it on your own, when you take a look at the hoses and pipes you want to make sure there hasn’t been any damage to them because of weather and/or time. If you take a look at the video, you’ll see a good example of what your pipes shouldn’t look like. If you see something that looks suspicious, make sure you call in a technician before any further damage occurs.

Bonus Step #7 – Change your filter

If you leave your filter unchanged long enough, you might find your A/C struggling to cool your house. It might even stop working altogether. Just like you change the oil in your car, you should change your filter on a regular basis.

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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Carlo June 25, 2012, 11:55 am

    We had two startups interrupted because of Mice that had nested in the electical box of the unit and had chewed through some wires. Finally stuffed steel wool into box port to close off further access.

    This not a good idea, never put things to block rodents in electrical enclures. This will in time cause an elecyrical short or worse a fire.

    get a rodent specialist to install a barrier or call the electrical safety authority for advice as what to do or not to.

  • shams afroz June 17, 2012, 11:02 pm

    Nice tips.Thumb up.

  • Gregg Kiser June 17, 2012, 7:37 am

    Don’t forget about rodents!

    We had two startups interrupted because of Mice that had nested in the electical box of the unit and had chewed through some wires. Finally stuffed steel wool into box port to close off further access.

  • Don Leduchowski June 16, 2012, 1:07 pm

    I am always impressed when any company provides basic info on their products or other home checks such as A/C, hot water tanks, furnaces to give people a heads up on what to check and recommended pro service on their equipment.
    However, the info for the AC check mentions filters to be checked and you really don’t say what filter. I would tend to think of the furnace filter which may not be correct, but should be mentioned on in your seasonal checks “bonus Step #7” missed the mark. Most people would not even think of checking/replacing the furnace filter. However, if there is another filter I am oblivious too, I would like to know about it.

    • Rich Massingham June 21, 2012, 3:52 pm

      Thanks Don. Sorry for the confusion, we are in fact referencing the furnace filter and we appreciate you taking the time to comment and giving us the opporutnity to clarify.

  • Darcy June 15, 2012, 3:49 pm

    Change what filter? On the furnace?

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