The Right Way to Start Up Your AC After a Long Winter

One of the best and most exciting indications that summer is here is when it’s time to switch the furnace off and turn the AC on. After a long, cold Calgary winter, it’s important to prep your air conditioner before cranking it up to keep you cool in the summer. Here are some steps to ensure your AC is ready for summer to give it the best chance to perform its best and avoid air conditioner repair.

Step 1: Clean Around Your Outdoor AC Unit

Spring in Calgary can be a bit messy. When the snow starts to melt, heavy rainfall and hail storms, your outdoor AC unit can accumulate mud. Additionally, wind can blow debris into the area, and animals or insects might build nests nearby.

How to Clean Your AC’s Outdoor Unit

To maintain a clean outdoor unit, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the unit weekly for any debris or blockages.
  2. Maintain a 2-3 feet clearance around the unit by removing plants, shrubs, and other obstacles.
  3. Gently brush or vacuum the fins to clear accumulated dirt and debris.
  4. Remove leaves, grass, and twigs from the top and sides of the unit.
  5. Use your hose on a gentle setting to wash away any stuck-on dirt.
  6. Ensure the unit is on a level surface for optimal operation.

If you’ve stored patio furniture or yard equipment near your AC over the winter, move these items a few feet away. Better airflow means improved efficiency and lower energy bills.

Step 2: Ensure Your AC Filter Is Clean

Your air conditioning system provides fresh air and keeps you cool. However, a dirty filter won’t deliver clean air.

Change the filter in your AC at least every three months—more frequently during the cooling season. Clean reusable filters with a mild detergent and warm water before reinstalling.

Benefits of Clean AC Filters

Clean air filters enhance air quality by removing particles and debris before they enter your ducts. They also improve airflow, reducing strain on your AC system and saving energy and money.

Step 3: Switch Your Humidifier to Summer Mode

If you have a whole-home humidifier, switch to summer mode as the weather warms up. Many whole-home humidifiers have a “WINTER” and “SUMMER” setting.

In winter mode, the humidifier adds moisture to your indoor air. Leaving it on this setting in summer forces your AC to work harder, as it’s more challenging to cool moist air than dry air. Ensure these systems work together for cool, comfortable air during the warmer months.

Step 4: Clear Your Ducts to Ensure Better Performance

Your home’s air ducts deliver climate-controlled air to your living spaces. Even filtered air can carry dust and impurities from dirty ducts. Professional duct cleaning before AC season helps avoid strange smells when you first turn on your system.

Importance of Duct Cleaning

Professional duct cleaning:

  • Improves indoor air quality by removing contaminants.
  • Eliminates allergens like pollen, pet dander, and mould spores.
  • Reduces energy consumption by clearing obstructions.
  • Extends the system’s lifespan by reducing wear and tear.
  • Minimizes fire risks by removing built-up dust.
  • Lowers energy bills by improving system efficiency.

Step 5: Check Your Vents

As you’ve likely been using your furnace until the weather changes, ensure your home’s vents and registers are clear. Preparing for AC use means giving your vents another check.

  • Avoid placing items like furniture or area rugs over floor vents.
  • Keep wall registers clear of obstructions; if furniture must be near, keep it 18 inches from the wall.
  • Clean vent covers to ensure easy air passage.

Closing vents while the AC is running doesn’t stop the system; it just forces air to other outlets. Consider a zoned HVAC system to limit cooling to certain areas.

Expert Tip: Schedule an AC Tune-Up

The best way to prepare your air conditioner for summer is with a professional AC tune-up. A thorough inspection from Calgary’s trusted Carrier air conditioning repair experts ensures your air conditioner is ready for the hottest summer days. 

Spring’s Servicing and Heating offers air conditioning repair services across Calgary and the surrounding areas. Preparing your AC for summer saves money and prevents breakdowns leaving you without cooling when you need it most.

Frequently Asked Questions: Air Conditioner Repair

Do I need professional AC maintenance?

Professional tune-ups ensure your AC remains energy-efficient during the cooling season and help identify potential problems before they become serious. Professional service also maintains your warranty.

What temperature should I set my thermostat for best AC efficiency?

During summer in Calgary, set your thermostat between 20°C and 25°C when at home and allow it to rise a few degrees when sleeping or away. A smart thermostat can adjust settings based on your preferences, ensuring comfort and efficiency.

What if I spot a leak near my air conditioner?

Leaks around your indoor unit could indicate a frozen refrigerant line. Wait for it to thaw completely before using your AC. If it doesn’t thaw, call a technician. It could also indicate a clogged condensate drain line, causing water buildup and leaks. Contact us for assistance.