As a general rule of thumb, it is highly recommended to do basic maintenance at the start of every cooling and heating season, especially in areas like the Flathead Valley where the harsh winters can be tough on your outdoor HVAC equipment. The extreme and extended temperature lows below freezing, can have a negative impact on your AC season start up. But with a little a little effort you can help insure a hassle-free cooling season.
Outside AC System Prep:
Keep your outdoor coil free of debris – Your system includes condenser coils that are designed to transfer heat, so any debris such as trash or vegetation that has made its way into or against the coil can limit the performance of your system. Clear any debris that may have found its way to the coil and it’s surrounding area to allow for good airflow.
Remove covers, blankets or lids – This may seem like a no brainer, but if you covered your system to protect it through the winter months, be sure to remove the cover before starting up your system. Many people forget to remove their covers at the start of the season and this can cause preventable repairs or even the possibility of a whole system replacement.
Panel inspection – Due to wind and other winter elements, it is possible that you may find that you have a missing a panel or a panel is misaligned - which can cause potential risks to the operation of your system, as well as to you as the homeowner. The panels are designed protect and enclose the electrical connections. If you discover that you have lost a panel or it is out of place, you should call CENTRAL Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical so a qualified technician to assess the situation before starting your system.
Repair and/ or replace damage to the pipe insulation – Outdoor units have a suction line that helps to provide cool refrigerant to the compressor. If that suction line (this is a large copper pipe on your unit) becomes compromised and the insulation becomes damaged, this can impact the required cooling for the outdoor unit, which in turn can damage your system and create a loss of energy. So it is extremely important that the insulation is intact to maintain the cooling system. If you do notice damage, contact Central so a qualified technician can make sure your suction line is in tip-top shape.
Inside AC System Prep:
Changing indoor air filters – As the season’s change, so is it a good time for the indoor air filters to be changed. Air filters tend to collect more dust and debris especially after a long, bitter-cold winter. So before you turn on your AC for the season, change your filters.
Coil drainage hose check up – Water condenses on the coil, because the coil temperature is lower than the ambient air and then drips into a tray below. It is possible that over the winter months this line has shifted. Checking that the condensate line has not moved or possibly became unattached is important to prevent flooding or a potential spill over into your basement.
Clean return grills and the supply vent – To prevent severe damage and insure proper airflow back through your system, make sure that both the supply and return air grills and vents are open and free of dust and debris. To remove pet hair, dander, dust or other debris that may have accumulated during the previous season, a vacuum works well. If you used plastic or another cover over vents to prevent drafts during the winter months, be sure to remove them before turning on your system. In general, cleaning all grills seasonally is a great preventative idea.
Turn it on and make sure it’s working correctly – After going through the check list, on your first AC worthy, hot day - turn on your system and after a few minutes, check that cool air is coming out of the indoor vents and then check every few hours throughout the day. If no air is coming out or the air is not cool, there is an issue with your system and you should turn it off at the thermostat immediately and contact Central. We’ll do a thorough inspection and diagnose the problem. Leaving a faulty system turned on when it’s not operating properly can create a lot of expensive damage.
An AC inspection by certified technician now, could help keep your system running worry-free through the heat of the summer and is especially important for older systems. You may want to call and ask about our Comfort Care Program or for more details go to: https://www.centralmt.com/about/comfort-care-program. As a member you enjoy priority status with Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical and the peace of mind in knowing that the heating and cooling system in your home is maintained and inspected two times a year to ensure that it is running at peak efficiency and safety.
At Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical your ‘comfort’ and ‘safety’ is always our CENTRAL concern! Call 406-756-6656 for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs.
***We service Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Bigfork, Polson, Lakeside, Somers or anywhere in the surrounding Flathead.