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With spring quickly coming upon us, many are finding themselves performing their spring cleaning chores sooner rather than later. To be truly successful in maximizing the full enjoyment of these spring and summer seasons, people need to remember the most important tasks that will help save money and make the most of the summer season. One of the most imperative steps to take is to prep your air conditioner for the summer. By taking the little amount of time to clean your air conditioner it will pay off both in comfort and in savings by keeping your home at lower temperatures with lower costs and a longer life for your AC unit. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to complete this process for your central air conditioner to keep it running efficiently!

Step 1: THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT — Go to your outdoor AC system and shut off the power: you should find this easy if you can find the appliance shutoff box. It’s usually outside within sight of the outdoor unit. Some shutoffs pull out; others have a handle to pull down or a fuse to remove. If there isn’t anyone of those, turn off the power at the circuit breaker at the main panel that controls the outdoor unit.

Step 2: This is going to take place on your outside unit, in which you must clean the condenser coil. Inside the condenser coil is the fan which sucks in the air around the unit and in turn, sucks in the debris around it. This can consist of bugs, dust, grass clippings, dead leaves, weeds, twigs, dust, etc. After you’re sure that you shut off the power to your AC unit you need to continue with cleaning the fan motors. Some units have lubrication ports, and if yours does, apply five drops of special oil (not penetrating or all-purpose oil) for electric motors. You can find this type of oil for electric motors at your standard hardware store. But if its not the case in which many of the fan motors are maintenance free (refer to your owner’s manual) you don’t have to be worried about the lubricating oil.

Step 3:  Checking for leaks- Most often, the compressor of your outdoor AC unit will not need to be serviced as it is tightly sealed; however, if you notice dark oily patches around your system, it’s likely that there is a leak.  If the unit is leaking, contact us and DON’T tighten the joints yourself as this will only make the issue worse.

After completing these steps, your air conditioning unit should be prepared for spring and summer.  While these techniques will benefit the overall health of your system, it is a good idea to not turn your air conditioner on directly after completing the process, as a solid 24 hour period of inactivity will allow a warming element to heat the internal unit of the compressor.  As temperatures continue to rise and daylight savings time has taken effect, weekends and weeknights make perfect times to follow these simple steps!