The weather is getting warmer and sunnier, and like many homeowners, you’re probably starting to get downright hot during the afternoons. That’s right — Spring is here!
Temperatures will only continue to creep up as the weeks go on, and this is the perfect time to make sure you air conditioning is up to snuff. Whether your AC unit is years old or it was only installed last season, it’s time to give it a good look and make sure it is working as it should. Here’s a useful checklist you can follow to see if your AC is running properly and to identify potential issues:
Check Different Rooms
If your AC system is meant to cool your entire house, then it’s important to check different rooms after it’s been turned on for a while. There should be an evenly cool temperature throughout, and problem areas could indicate damaged parts. It could also be a matter of reassessing the ventilation flow in your home, which you will need a professional for.
Check the Filter
AC units have a filter, just like the air unit in your car. While there are many different AC system designs, the air filter is typically located by the return air duct. Some systems may even have multiple filters. If you do not have a manual that helps you locate it, a professional HVAC tech can help you find it. If the filter is dirty and has not been changed in a while, it will not do its job properly. This could lead to poor cooling, and worse, contaminated air. It’s always best to switch your AC off while you are checking the filter.
Now, it is possible to clean your filter instead of replacing entirely each time. You can do so by switching the system off and removing it carefully, then rinsing it off with a garden hose or cleaning it in your sink with water and a diluted vinegar solution. Always allow the filter to dry completely before putting it back in place. That said, filters are not designed to be permanent fixtures, and cleaning will only help delay replacement for a bit rather than preventing it entirely.
Check the Vents
Go around to each vent in your home to make sure that they are open and air is coming out as it should. Sometimes people think there is a problem with their AC, but it’s just a vent that’s stuck closed or is otherwise blocked. If you notice the vent is dirty, it’s a good idea to clean it thoroughly to prevent further buildup and dirty air from being blown out into your home.
Now, it’s worth noting that many older homes have ventilation issues. This is either because the current AC system was installed long after the home was built and may not have been done efficiently, or because the existing system is very old. If you feel that vent placement or air flow may be a problem, contact us for a consultation.
Pay Attention to the Settings
When it comes to how cool people like their homes to be, personal preferences vary greatly. Because of this, modern AC systems come with a wide range of different temperature settings. If your AC doesn’t seem cool enough, check your settings to make sure they’re not too low. Likewise, it is important to make sure the system is not blasting at its top capacity all the time, as this can lead to it wearing down faster and even becoming overworked and blowing out entirely.
Don’t Ignore Noises
When running properly, your AC system should be fairly silent. In fact, the only sound you should notice (if any) is a gentle, low humming sound of air flowing. If you notice anything other than this, like banging, grinding, whirring, rattling, whining, squeaking, etc., then it’s time to have the system looked at by a professional. In the event that you notice any particularly alarming noises (like loud banging) or ones that seem threatening, then it’s best to turn the system off entirely and wait for professional assistance.
The good news news is that strange noises coming from your AC do not automatically indicate that there are any major problems. In many cases, it could just be a loose part. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Don’t Settle for a Hot Home
If you notice something is wrong during your AC check, it’s important not to wait to reach out for help. You’re only doomed to a hot and sweaty home if nothing is done to fix the problem!
Now, if your AC is failing to cool your home or isn’t turning on at all, don’t assume right away that you need a whole new cooling system. Many times, it’s just a part or two that needs to be replaced or other simple fix. It’s a good idea to get an expert consultation sooner rather than later, so you can make sure you’re cool and comfortable straight through spring and into summer.
Give us a call today or send us a message to schedule your AC consultation. We’re here to help!