It may be too early to turn on the air-conditioning, but warmer weather will be here before you know it. You want to make sure your system is running properly before you need to use it. Routine care and maintenance can help to ensure that your system is ready when you need it. You can perform many of the tasks yourself, which will save you money.
1. Clean out and around the outdoor A/C unit. It's easy for leaves and other debris to get trapped behind the unit, so it's important to rake it all out. Cut back nearby trees and bushes to prevent interference with the system. Visually check the outdoor unit for possible problems such as water in the drain pan, broken or loose hoses and wires, or clogged condensate drains.
2. Check the inside unit and all duct work. Look over the indoor unit, and inspect it for broken coils, pooling water or loose wires. Change the filter, and stock up on new filters so that you have them on-hand for easy changing in the future. Visually check ducts for tears, gaps and leaks. Clean the vents and grills with a damp cloth and a vacuum. Consider having a professional come in to clean the ducts.
3. Replace your system with a new, energy-efficient unit. If your air-conditioning unit wasn't keeping your house cool during the hottest days last summer, it may be time to replace it. Spring is a great time to have a new system installed so that it will be up and running when the hot days arrive. A qualified air-conditioning company can inspect your unit and verify whether a new system is needed. Although the cost of a new air-conditioning system may be daunting, they often pay for themselves in a short time. Additionally, many utility companies offer rebates and other incentives to customers who switch over to high-efficient A/C systems.