In Albuquerque, it seems like we have two seasons: winter and summer. Sometimes we go from frigid temperatures to blazing heat very quickly! This year, it seems like we might get some spring weather before summer comes. But no matter what the weather is like, everyone knows that summer is coming soon-and it’s going to be hot!
Soon, many homeowners will need to use their central air conditioning systems to cool down. It’s a good idea to check your system now for any problems or needed maintenance so that you can take care of them before the weather gets warmer.
Summertime is the time for air conditioning! But what if your AC unit malfunctions on a hot day? Here are some tips to help you prevent any problems and troubleshoot any issues that may come up.
We’ll look at both your indoor and outdoor equipment. Before we do that, here are some basics air conditioning terms you should know.
Top 5 Air Conditioning Terms to Get You Through the Season
Air Conditioner: Refrigeration systems use air conditioning to control the temperature and humidity, as well as remove moisture by condensation.
Compressor: The compressor is used to change low pressure refrigerant into high pressure refrigerant.
Condenser: The condenser acts as a radiator-type component where heat is given off by changing from a gas to liquid state.
Evaporator: The evaporator absorbs heat from inside air and changes the liquid refrigerant into a gas.
Filter: The filter is used to remove foreign substances from the refrigerant. It is installed in series in the liquid line on the high side of the system.
Indoor Equipment Vital to Your Overall Well Being
Start with the temperature turned to high (around 80 degrees) and y our thermostat in the off position.
- Is the thermostat outdated? By installing a newer, programmable thermostat, you could save both energy and money.
- Cooling loss or inefficiency in the home could be caused by wear and tear. Check any exposed ductwork for signs of this.
- Remove any items that could be blocking air vents. For example, toys, furniture, or curtains.
- Inspect the drain by the indoor cooling coil that normally mounted above the furnace in the basement. If it’s not draining properly, this could lead to water damage in your home.
- When your air conditioning drain becomes clogged, you can clear it out by flushing a cup of chlorine bleach down the line and rinsing with a gallon of water. This will help to remove any dirt or build-up that may have collected over time.
- Your air filter should be changed every three months and before the start of a new season of heating or cooling. Naturally, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions if they suggest changing the air filter at a different time.
- Ensure electrical connections are on by checking circuits.
- Check that the power is turned “on” at the furnace/AC unit.
Outdoor Equipment Your System Won’t Run Without
- Check the outdoor condenser unit. Clean the area around the unit and check for blockages that may have been caused by debris, leaves or vines. Performance can be affected dramatically if the interior components are blocked.
- Also, check that the panels designed to enclose the electrical connections are not missing.
- Conduct a visual inspection of the refrigerant lines, which should be insulated. Efficiency is improved with proper insulation, however repairs to refrigerant lines or insulation must be completed by a professional.
- Outdoor electrical wiring needs to be inspected for wear and tear. Professionals must be called for repairs here too, so consult your professional before operating your system.
- We all get old, right? Your air conditioner is no exception! It doesn’t matter whether your air conditioner has always been well maintained or serviced, eventually it will reach the end of its life span.
- Not to be discounted, according to Energy.gov, even if an air conditioner is only 10 years old, you can save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
Time to Turn on Your A/C
Now that you’ve inspected your indoor and outdoor equipment, it’s time to test the system.
- Lower the thermostat temperature to the desired level and turn the thermostat to the “on” position.
- Check how the fan in the condenser sounds and it’s not running erratically. The air coming out of the unit will feel warm because it’s warm air that is being removed from your home.
- Run your air conditioner for around 10 – 15 minutes or more. You should start to feel the indoor temperature dropping in every area of your home.
Troubleshooting and Energy Tips
You should hire a service technician at least once a year for regular maintenance to keep your system running efficiently. If you had any problems or concerns during your inspection, call a professional for service before the summer when you’ll want your AC ready to cool your home.
By increasing the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees, you can help keep your energy bills under control during the summer. You can also save money and energy by using recommended temperature settings.
If you’re like most people, your Albuquerque air conditioner probably isn’t used very often during the winter. This can lead to problems when you finally turn it on in the summer – like a sudden blast of hot air coming out of the vents!
To avoid this and other issues, it’s important to do some regular maintenance on your AC system. This includes things like changing the air filter, cleaning the coils, and making sure the Freon levels are where they should be.
Doing these things will help your AC run more efficiently and last longer. Schedule a tune-up with your local HVAC company, Day & Night Pluming, Heating, Cooling LLC today to make sure your system is ready for summer!