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Spring Check-In: Is It Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

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It’s finally May, which means that summer is just around the corner. That means you can start looking forward to all the things you love about summer -- backyard barbecues, garden-fresh vegetables, beach days, baseball games on TV, ice cream... But it also means that temperatures are going to start creeping up, and you need to make sure that your air conditioning system is ready for the warm weather. Spring is the best time to determine whether your air conditioner will make it through another long, hot summer, or if it is time to replace it.

Checking Your Air Conditioner

It is critical to check your air conditioner in the spring to make sure it is working. That way, if you need to get a replacement, you will have ample time to look into the options and find one that works for your building and your budget. When getting your air conditioner ready for its first test after winter, there are a few things to check for before turning it on. Some of these can serve as red flags, indicating that it may be time to find a replacement.

  • Outdoor unit panels. Sometimes, in the winter, the panels covering the electrical connections in the outdoor unit get misaligned or blown away by heavy winds. Severe damage or missing panels could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement. It is not safe to start the system until all panels are in place.
  • Suction line insulation. The insulation of the suction line, which is the large pipe on the outdoor unit, may also be have been damaged, by ice or small animals. It’s usually not very hard to find replacement insulation before testing the unit, but if the suction line itself is damaged, you will likely need to replace your system.
  • Debris in the outdoor coil and surrounding area. For the air conditioner to run efficiently, it is critical to remove debris from the outdoor coil, and also to clear the area around it of leaves and mulch that may have accumulated during the winter months.
  • Dust in the supply vents and return air grills. Inside the building, it is common for dust to accumulate in the supply vents and return air grills. You can usually clear away the dust with a vacuum cleaner.

After all that is done, and it looks like everything is in place, it’s time to turn the air conditioner on. Within a few minutes, cool air should start to come out of the registers. If the air is warm, or if there is no air at all, you should turn off the unit immediately and start looking for causes of malfunction.

If it turns out that your air conditioner isn’t ready to handle the summer season, you’re in great shape, because you still have time to replace it before the temperatures get too high. Learn more about some of the best-priced replacement options offered by Air National Warehouse.

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