Dallas, TX summers can hit highs of 100°F, and in these conditions, it’s always helpful to have a well-working AC unit. Even if your AC has been efficient in the recent past, hiring professional air conditioning services will go a long way in ensuring your unit doesn’t fail when you most need it.
In this piece, we share some insights on how to prepare your AC unit for summer.
Safety tip: We do not recommend doing any maintenance work on your own. Always call in a professional ac maintenance company in Dallas to handle any maintenance work your unit may need.
Check the Filter
If the filter is clogged, it can lead to increased energy bills since the AC unit is working harder to keep the house cool. Once the filter is clogged, the AC will not be able to cool the house as efficiently as it should.
The dirt and debris clogging the filter can affect the quality of air in your home since they usually get pushed out with cooled air. The filters need to be changed regularly. It is advisable to engage the services of an air conditioning service for scheduled AC maintenance sessions where the filter will be changed.
Clean the Vents
It is easy for dirt and debris to get into the vents. Ensure all the vents, including the return air vents, are clean and open. The AC works well when the vents are open and clean. Call an air conditioning service if you think the vents are clogged.
Check the Components
An air conditioner has four main parts. It is important to check these parts to ensure each is functional.
The evaporator coil is where the AC unit picks up heat from your house. The coolant liquid in the evaporator coil absorbs heat, cooling a room. This part is fundamental to the functions of an AC system, and it should be clear why it needs to be checked before summer.
You shouldn’t, however, check the coil yourself as it is not out in the open or easily accessible. Some screws and casing will need to be removed to get to the evaporator coil. Contacting an air conditioning service in Dallas, TX, would be prudent to check the evaporator coil and clean it.
Before the refrigerant goes into the evaporator coils, it must be cooled down. The expansion valve depressurizes the refrigerant, cooling it down. Engage a professional air conditioning service to clean the expansion valve and check whether it is functional.
The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, which raises its temperature. The refrigerant is heated so that its temperature can be higher than the temperature outside so that that heat can be dispensed outside. You can diagnose problems with the compressor by using a multimeter. Once you determine the issue, contact a professional air conditioning service to fix the issue and clean the compressor.
The condenser is usually attached to a fan on the outdoor part of the AC unit. It receives the refrigerant from the compressor and cools it down.
Ideally, the condenser coil should be protected with a tarp to prevent debris from getting into it. Call in an air conditioning service in Dallas, TX, to help scoop leaves from the condenser’s base, cut and remove any weeds that may obstruct airflow through the condenser, and make sure the drain is clear (if there is a drain).
Clean the Fins
Cleaning the outside fins will ensure your AC unit is running better. Call a professional ac maintenance service to clean the fins using a soft brush across each fin. If you do it yourself, you might bend the thin metal and incur more costs in repairs or replacement.
Check the Thermostat
The thermostat is like the brain of the AC system, so it is important to check it before starting your AC. If the thermostat uses batteries, consider putting in new ones. You may also want to consider upgrading to a smart thermostat if you want more control when you’re away from home. Call an air conditioning service to install a smart thermostat for you.
Turn the AC Unit On
After cleaning the AC unit, the next step is to turn it on after being allowed to dry. To turn the AC unit on, turn the thermostat off, then turn the power on at the main panel and the disconnect box. After that, switch the thermostat to cool.
Here are some possible problems you may encounter after turning the AC on.
- The AC is not turning on: You might turn the AC on and not hear anything or feel any cold air. This could be due to a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. Check the circuit breaker, and if it is tripped, reset it by flipping the switch off and then on. It also could be due to issues with the thermostat, in which case you should call an air conditioning repair service.
- The AC is making strange noises: The air conditioner will make different noises depending on the issue. There are different reasons why the AC may be making noises. A banging sound could indicate an issue with the blower. A refrigerant leak can lead to a hissing noise. If you hear a buzzing sound, it could be caused by a problem with the electrical components. Whatever the noise, call an air conditioning service in Dallas, TX, to fix the issue for you.
- The AC is constantly running without cycling off periodically: Even in hot weather, the AC should turn off periodically. If the AC doesn’t cycle off periodically, it can cause wear and tear to the components or increase energy costs. It may indicate an issue with the thermostat or compressor. First, try turning off the thermostat and see if that shuts off the AC. If not, contact an AC service to handle the issue for you.
- No cool air is coming from the AC: The AC may be on, but no cool air is coming from the ducts. This could be due to low refrigerant levels or a worn-out blower belt. The solution here is to call an air conditioning service to check the AC and make the necessary repairs.
- The AC is blowing out hot air: The AC could be blowing out hot air instead of cool air. This may be caused by a dirty air filter or a clogged air duct. It could also be due to low levels of refrigerant. Better to call an air conditioning service to check your HVAC unit and diagnose what the issue could be.
- Strange smells coming from the AC: There may be a burning smell or a musty smell coming from the vents or the AC unit. A burning smell can indicate motor issues. Musty or moldy smells can indicate the air vents need cleaning. If there is a burning smell, turn the AC off immediately. Call an air conditioning service to check the AC system and fix any issues.
Pro tip: Remember to remove the AC cover before running the system. Running the AC with the cover on could damage your HVAC system.
Should I call an AC service to check my AC before turning it on?
You should call an air conditioning service before turning the AC on after a long period of not being used. AC technicians will inspect the system to ensure they are in good condition. They will also perform a check and let you know if any parts could cause a problem down the road.
It is advisable to have your AC unit checked at least once per year. You can ensure this annual check coincides with the beginning of the summer season.
When should I start prepping my air conditioner?
Timing is important when deciding when to start preparing your AC unit for the summer season. You can start prepping your AC unit when it is warm enough to work outside and when the water you use to clean the unit will not freeze. Ideally, you should start prepping during late spring or early summer.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to start prepping your AC unit. If you start prepping early, you will have time to call an air conditioning service in Dallas, TX, in case something is wrong. Once the summer season sets in, you may have to wait a while before an HVAC technician can come to your house.
Why do I need to prep my AC unit for the summer?
Prepping your AC unit for the summer ensures it is ready to go when you need it. If you prep your AC unit early, you’ll have ample time to handle any necessary repairs and avoid being without an AC unit during summer.
If you don’t prep your system, it could cost you money. If your AC unit is not ready to run when summer comes, it could increase energy costs. You want to ensure your AC is in good condition before the summer season starts.
How can I reduce my energy costs?
Since our HVAC systems can consume a lot of energy, it is natural to look for ways of making the system use less energy. Below are some tips:
- Perform an analysis to determine your energy usage needs, then install a smart thermostat so that you can decrease usage when not required.
- Install an economizer which measures the outside temperature to determine when it is cool enough to provide a favorable condition indoors. The outside air is utilized instead of running the AC if it is cool outside.
- Have your system tuned by an air conditioning service. A worn-out system usually works harder and utilizes more energy than a well-maintained HVAC system.
How do I know what size air conditioner my house needs?
A licensed air conditioning service in Dallas, TX, should be consulted before buying a new cooling system or replacing an old one. A proper calculation will be done by factoring in the square footage of your house, climate, number of windows, and even people living in the house.
Without a professional air conditioning service, you could end up with an AC unit that is not big enough, meaning it will not be able to keep up with your cooling needs, or a larger that constantly cycles on and off wastes energy.
What do air conditioner ratings mean?
Here’s a quick rundown of what the various ratings on air conditioner pamphlets mean.
- EER (Energy Efficient Ratio) measures the cooling output of an air conditioner divided by energy usage. The higher the number, the more efficient the system.
- SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) measures the efficiency and is calculated based on a seasonal average rather than specific conditions. A higher number means the unit is more efficient.
- HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) measures the heat pump’s efficiency. A higher number indicates higher efficiency.
What is the average lifespan of a new air conditioner?
The lifespan of an air conditioner will vary based on the brand and model. However, if an air conditioner is installed today and is well-maintained, it should last for 10 to 15 years. Again, this depends on the brand, model, and how well the AC unit is maintained.
An air conditioner that is well maintained may live well beyond 15 years. Contact an air conditioning service to get an air conditioner.
One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas: Reliable HVAC Services
If you live in Dallas, TX, you understand how hot it can get during the summer season. One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas provides AC repair, installation, and maintenance services. Whether you need a new unit, an old one replaced, or a repair job, we respond quickly to meet your air conditioning needs. Our licensed HVAC technicians will get it right the first time. If you are not satisfied, we will come back and do the job how you want it.