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Tips to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Summer

It takes a lot of power to keep your home cool during the summer. The best way to cut down on those costs is to act now and prepare your air conditioner for summer. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

1. Change AC Filters
Changing the filters in your air conditioner is the most basic AC maintenance job there is, but not many people do it properly. You should replace the filters every month to keep the AC running efficiently. New filters can be purchased online or direct from the manufacturer.

2. Clean Condensation Lines
Condensation in an air conditioner passes through a pipe. This pipe can get clogged up if it isn’t cleaned out regularly. This causes condensation to go back into the AC unit, or seep into your home, and cause a lot of damage. Make sure you clean those condensation lines.

3. Install a Smart Thermostat
Installing a programmable smart thermostat can save you a lot of money on your electricity bill. These thermostats let you control when your AC runs so you don’t have to leave it on when no one is around. The good news is that programmable thermostats are easy to find and install yourself.

4. Clean the Outside Unit
The outside unit of your AC has been collecting dust and other debris for months now, especially if you don’t have a cover for it. This gunk gets into the unit and makes it run slower than usual. Take some time to clean the outside unit. Use a hose for small messes or a commercial cleaner for serious soiling.

5. Clean AC Fins
You might as well clean the fins while you’re out there for better AC efficiency. Use a soft brush like a car brush or toothbrush to clean the fins. Run the brush along the fins gently so that you don’t bend the delicate metal. There are lots of tools you can use to straighten the fins if you do happen to bend them.

6. Check the Concrete Slab
Once you’ve cleaned off the outside unit, make sure that the concrete slab is level. Units on an uneven slab need to work harder. Use a board to pry up the slab and put down some gravel until the slab is even. Take the board out when finished.

7. Clean up Around the Outside Unit
Debris such as plants and leaves around the outside unit can reduce the overall performance of your air conditioner. Be sure to cut the grass and remove any debris or plants around the unit before starting it up in the summer.

8. Check for Leaks in the Ductwork
Leaks in the ductwork account for some of the biggest drops in efficiency with AC units. Check the ductwork for any leaks and take care of any that you find. Losing just 20% of conditioned air through a leak means your unit has to work 50% as hard for the same results. Check the ductwork for small holes, disconnected joints, and separated pieces.

These tips should help you properly maintain and prepare your AC unit ready for the hot summer months.