So spring has sprung — and for many, that means the welcome retreat of snowy and icy conditions and the opportunity to pack away the sweaters and jackets. The most pleasant temperatures at the start of spring don’t stick around for very long, however, and the temperatures begin their climb towards their summer highs in no time. That means you’re likely going to reach for the thermostat soon to turn your AC unit. This is often the first time you’ll switch it on in several months. What should you keep in mind when you prepare to use your air conditioner in the spring?
Some preparatory steps and due diligence on your part can ensure that you enjoy the cooler, less humid indoor air that you want. Here’s what to do.
Have You Changed Your Filter Yet?
If you haven’t used your air conditioner since last autumn, chances are good your filter has been sitting in its housing, gathering plenty of dust. Although some systems use the same filter for both heating and cooling, not all do. That makes it an excellent idea to head down to the store to pick up a multi-pack of filters in your system’s size. Remove the old filter from last year and replace it with a brand new and fresh one. Start the spring knowing your system can blow clean, cool air through your home with little filter resistance.
Keep Pollen Out By Keeping Windows Shut
Ventilating the home by opening the windows becomes very enjoyable when the temperatures aren’t too high outside, but by the time spring comes around, you might do more harm than good. As trees and plants release vast amounts of pollen into the air, that pollen could make its way into your home through open windows and doors left ajar too long. Even the best AC filters can clog up with pollen if too much enters a dwelling. Consider purchasing a filter that states explicitly it blocks pollen if you live with someone who has allergies and enjoy better air quality by instead relying on a closed system of home cooling.
Make Sure Your Exterior Drainage Isn’t Blocked
Every AC unit has a drain pipe that runs to some point on the exterior of the building. This pipe drains off the condensation that collects as the system pulls humidity out of the air. Over autumn and a snowy winter, this pipe could become blocked with plant debris or dirt. If the drainage backs up into the home, it could cause an automatic shutoff switch to trigger on the unit. It could also cause leaks that lead to the development of mold and mildew. Find your drainage pipe at the start of the season and make sure it’s clear.
Call For Routine Service If It’s the Right Time
Some homeowners like to use the arrival of spring as the perfect reminder to call for their annual air conditioning service. Your maintenance provider will carry out several tasks, such as:
- Checking the filter
- Cleaning condenser coils and blower fans
- Checking your ducts
- Assessing the overall health of the unit
- Cleaning the exterior unit
In other words, it’s the perfect check-up for spring. If you haven’t had a regular maintenance visit recently, now is the right time.
You Probably Don’t Need to Set Your Thermostat So Low
How about a tip for using your air conditioner in the spring? Keep that thermostat set a few degrees higher than you want. Not only will you save energy, but with the smart use of ceiling or room fans, you’ll often be just as comfortable as you would be with a setting up to three degrees lower. Save the heavy-duty cooling for when the summer arrives.
Make Sure Your Unit Works Before You Need Your Air Conditioner in the Spring
Go ahead — switch it on and give it a try. Let your unit run for a while to determine if cool air still blows from the vents and whether the temperature in the home drops. Consider this a “trial run.” You don’t want your first use to fail, so why risk the surprise?
Know Where to Turn For Help When Something Goes Wrong
Sometimes, things just break — and something might have worn out inside your unit over the winter that leads to a problem. Luckily, having an issue with your air conditioner in the spring means you’re not as likely to have to face soaring high temperatures during the afternoon. Even so, you should still reach out for assistance as soon as it becomes clear that your unit is not behaving as it should. With a prompt response, you can determine the problem, have a solution implemented, and be ready for another full year of reliable cooling.