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The weather in the Lakewood Ranch, Florida, area tends to stay fairly moderate throughout the changing seasons, but the summer certainly brings the heat and the humidity. Before this season hits, take some steps to prepare your cooling system for the upcoming temperature increases. By starting early, you can avoid turning on your air conditioner only to find that the system isn’t working properly and won’t pump out any cool air.

Safety First

Before you start any type of DIY cleaning and prep work on your air conditioner, consider whether it’s safe for you to take on the task before you. It may be better to have a professional handle the job. If you do decide to DIY, make sure to do it safely. Shut off the power to the air conditioning condenser and turn off your thermostat before you get started.

You should also have a basic understanding of how the system works, which will help you know what needs to be done to prepare it for the upcoming summer months. A standard central air conditioner uses an outdoor unit with a compressor and a condenser coil working in conjunction with an indoor evaporator coil. As air blows across the evaporator coil, heat transfer occurs within that coil to cool down the air with the refrigerant housed in the outdoor unit. The heat is absorbed in the outdoor unit while the air blowing through your home feels cool and comfortable. 

Change the Filter

Air conditioning maintenance should always be handled by a skilled professional, especially anything that involves opening any part of the system or changing out parts. However, there are a few DIY tasks that a homeowner can do safely. Your heating and cooling system contains a filter that stops dirt, pollen, dust, pet hair, dander, and other debris from moving through the ducts.

When the filter gets overloaded with contaminants, it can no longer perform properly, resulting in a buildup of debris in your ducts that reduces the quality of the indoor air and impacts efficiency. One of the first tasks you should do in preparation for your home’s summer cooling needs is to replace the filter in your cooling system. This task should be done at least every two to three months, although you can do it more often if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or the filter is getting dirty faster than expected.  

Light Cleaning

Another task you can do to prepare your cooling system is to perform some light cleaning around the unit. You shouldn’t go too deeply into the components as poking around could dislodge something, resulting in expensive repairs. However, some basic cleaning tasks help clear out debris and allow the system to run more efficiently. This is especially important for the outdoor unit, which can get clogged with leaves and dirt. 

Use a vacuum to clear out any debris from the outdoor unit housing. You can gently spray off the outdoor fins with a hose. For a more thorough cleaning of the condenser coils or other components, it’s best to bring in a professional. 

Schedule a Tuneup

One of the most important aspects of HVAC maintenance and summer preparation is calling an HVAC technician to schedule a tuneup. These companies often get busy at the start of the summer, so schedule your maintenance service in the late spring to beat the rush. A tuneup typically involves a full inspection of the cooling system, along with a coil cleaning service and some light maintenance.

Your technician will also look for warning signs that may indicate your air conditioning system has a problem. By finding out about an issue early, you can get your system up and running well before the heat of summer hits. Routine air conditioning maintenance can help extend the life of your system and reduce the need for costly repairs while helping to improve efficiency and save you money every month.

Take advantage of the benefits and prepare for the summer months by scheduling your air conditioning maintenance service with our experienced technicians at Aqua Plumbing & Air by calling (941) 306-3715.

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