As Philadelphia’s winter weather slowly becomes spring and then summer
You’ll soon be reaching for that thermostat and turning the A/C back on, we’ve got some energy-reducing, repair-preventing tips for you.
The top four things you should do before cranking the air conditioner include:
- Air filter Check
- Check outdoor unit
- Look at your thermostat settings
- Schedule Air Conditioning maintenance
We’ll explain why each of these tips can make or break your summer comfort…
- Check your air filter
Most homeowners don’t realize that their heater most likely shares a filter with their A/C unit. If you’ve been running heat for the past few months your filter has been sucking up and trapping air pollutants from the first use.
And, if your filter is clogged (and looks like the filter to the right) you need to change it immediately.
If you don’t get your filter changed a clogged filter will eventually suffocate your A/C system. Yes, your A/C system has to breathe. And if a thick layer of dirt/dust is blocking air from getting into your system, it won’t be long until you notice big problems like:
- A frozen evaporator coil
- Ice on refrigerant lines
- Weak airflow from vents
- Higher-than-normal energy bills
- Clear the outdoor unit
After a harsh winter, you’ll want to make sure your outdoor unit (is clear of leaves, sticks, dirt, etc
Dirt and the leaves stuck in the condenser can harm the A/C’s efficiency and raise energy bills.
Why? Your outdoor unit’s main job is to collect all the heat that was removed from the air inside your home. Then, the unit “dumps” all that heat into the outdoor air.
BUT if the outdoor unit is covered in dirt or stifled by a fence or foliage that’s too close, it will struggle to dump all that heat. Think of this as trying to cool off a hot bowl of soup but there’s an airtight lid over the bowl. Seems pretty ineffective, right?
The same goes for your outdoor unit—if it can’t get rid of all the heat fast enough, it will send some of the heat right back into your home, which means lowered efficiency and higher energy bills.
What to do: Use a hose on a gentle setting to spray down the condenser coils.
- Double-check your thermostat settings
Always double check that you’ve moved the thermostat from HEAT to COOL. But you should also always make sure that your thermostat fan is set to AUTO not ON
Your A/C is responsible for dehumidifying your home’s air. It does this via the evaporator coil—an A-shaped web of cold refrigerant coils.
The cold refrigerant inside those coils absorbs both the heat and moisture in the air. So, over time, moisture collects on these coils and “should” drip into a pan. But if you set the fan to ON instead of AUTO, the fan will continuously blow over the cold coils, which means moisture will never have a chance to collect and drip into a pan. Instead, the moisture is pushed right back into your home.
Setting the fan to AUTO, on the other hand, means the fan turns off between cooling cycles, allowing time for the moisture to collect and drip into the drain pan.
Setting your fan to AUTO means better humidification and lower energy bills. Related: “On vs. AUTO: One of These Thermostat Settings Costs You Big Time”.
- Schedule A/C maintenance
We know what you’re asking: “But why would I get maintenance now? I haven’t even ran my A/C yet!”
We know—that’s the point. When you schedule A/C maintenance before the heavy cooling season, you’re making sure that any small problems are resolved before the A/C starts running non-stop. Scheduling a maintenance visit now prevents those small problems from turning into larger problems and compromising your comfort when it need it most—in the middle of an Philadelphia summer.
Set yourself up for A/C success this summer: get A/C maintenance now
Ready to schedule your annual A/C maintenance? Call Philadelphia’s Best HVAC Contractors to help you (215) 366-1001 //emcocooling.com/