Summer is right around the corner, and it’s time to prepare your air conditioning system for the hot days ahead. Having a well-maintained AC system is crucial in the Lowcountry, where temperatures can soar. Preparing your AC unit for the summer heat will help you avoid costly repairs and keep your home cool and comfortable throughout the season. Here are some maintenance tips to help you get started.
The Importance of Routine Maintenance for Air Conditioning Units in Coastal Environments
Living near the ocean provides an array of benefits — from the fantastic views to the refreshing breeze to relaxed coastal vibes. But, unfortunately, the salty air isn’t so kind to your air conditioner. For this reason, regular maintenance is crucial for minimizing the damaging effects of salt air and sand.
The salty air from the ocean can corrode the metal components in your AC system, leading to rust and mechanical problems. Sand can also clog the filters and reduce airflow, making your AC unit work harder than necessary. Regular maintenance can help prevent these issues and extend the lifespan of your AC system, such as cleaning and replacing air filters, hosing off the system’s fins, and inspecting the outdoor unit.
Clean or Replace the Air Filters
The first step to preparing your AC unit for summer is to clean or replace the air filters. These filters act as your system’s first line of defense against dust, sand, dirt, and other debris. However, a dirty air filter can reduce airflow, making your system work harder than necessary. This can lead to higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your AC unit.
To clean a reusable air filter, remove it from the unit and gently vacuum it. Run warm water over the filter in your sink or shower for a deeper clean. Then, let it air dry thoroughly. If you have a disposable filter and it’s excessively dirty, replace it with a new one.
Inspect the AC Unit
Inspect your air conditioner unit before the hot weather arrives. Look for any signs of damage or wear and tear on the unit, such as dents, cracks, or rust. Check the coolant lines and clean the coils if necessary. If you notice any issues, contact a professional HVAC company for repairs.
Clean the Outdoor Unit
Clear the area around your outdoor AC unit, raking any remaining leaves or twigs left over from the spring season. Ensure that no plants, shrubs, or objects are within two feet of the unit. This will ensure proper airflow and help prevent damage to your AC system.
Before cleaning the condenser, turn off the power at your service panel. Now, take the grille off the outdoor unit and use a garden hose to rinse the coils and fan blades. This will help prevent a build-up of dirt and salt. At this point, add foam insulation sleeves or tape to the coolant lines to prevent them from freezing.
Check the Thermostat Settings
Check your thermostat settings before summer arrives. Ensure it’s set to “cool” mode and the temperature is set to your desired level. Now, turn your system on to ensure it is functioning correctly. If your home is cooled to your desired temperature, you’re good to go! If the air conditioner struggles to cool each room in your house or produces an odd odor or sound, turn the system off and call our experts right away.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
It’s always a good idea to schedule professional maintenance for your AC system before the start of summer. An experienced HVAC technician can inspect your central air conditioner, clean the components, and make any necessary repairs. Also, consider signing up for an HVAC service plan for regular maintenance and discounts on services.
Have Your System Tuned-Up by the Best in the Business
Preparing your AC system for a hot summer in the Lowcountry is essential to keep your home cool and comfortable. By cleaning or replacing air filters, clearing the area around the condenser, and scheduling professional maintenance, you can help ensure your AC system is ready to handle the heat.
If you need AC repair in Charleston, SC, or have any questions about AC maintenance, contact the pros at Rudd Plumbing, Heating and Air today. We understand the unique needs of residents near the coast and will provide the services needed to keep corrosion at bay.