While having a reliable HVAC professional you can trust is always a must, it can be advantageous to understand how to check your own AC system. Whether it’s at the beginning of the summer season or you’re experiencing an issue with your cooling system, there are some basic steps that you’ll want to take to inspect it thoroughly.

Ensure Your Thermostat Is Working Properly

Your thermostat is essentially the brain of your entire HVAC system. It tells your air conditioner when to turn on and when to turn off. If it’s not calibrated properly, your cooling system will not keep your home at the temperature you set and cause your system to run inefficiently. You can easily check its accuracy by taping a reliable thermometer on the wall next to it.

Wait about 15 minutes, and then, compare the readings of your thermostat and thermometer. If they are more than a few degrees apart, you may need to contact an HVAC professional to diagnose and fix the issue, so your thermostat reads the ambient temperature of your home correctly.

Remove Debris From Your Outdoor Unit

Another essential part of any home AC inspection is checking your outside unit for debris. It’s not uncommon for wind to push debris, like leaves and twigs, up against your outside air conditioning unit. When this happens, it can restrict the airflow of your unit and decrease its overall efficiency. You should remove any debris that you find. Additionally, trim shrubs and branches that are within a three-foot radius of the unit.

Ensure Your Unit Is Level

While you’re inspecting your outside unit, check to ensure it’s level. You can do this by simply setting a two-foot level atop the unit. If it’s unlevel due to ground shifting, it needs to be leveled back out by adding extra gravel or other material to the low side.

If your outdoor cooling unit is left to run at an unlevel stance, it may cause excessive vibration and interfere with the proper flow of refrigerant. The vibration could prematurely wear out the internal components of your outside unit and require more frequent repairs. Alternatively, uneven refrigerant distribution can lead to poor cooling performance.

Check Your Vents for Clearance

There is normally a supply and return vent for your cooling system in each room of your home. Both vents need to have adequate free space to ensure optimal airflow. Check for any obstructions within a couple of feet of either vent. Items like furniture, floor rugs, or drapes can obstruct airflow and make it harder for your system to cool those rooms.

If your vent covers are dirty, you can remove them with a screwdriver and wash them in warm, soapy water. A stiff brush works well to remove caked-on dirt and debris. While your grates are drying, you can vacuum inside the vents up to where your ductwork begins. After you have replaced the vent covers, ensure they are in the open position so that air flows freely through your system.

Replace Dirty Air Filters

The air filter in your cooling system prevents debris and dirt from harming the internal components of your air conditioner. It also captures airborne particles that would otherwise recirculate through your home, improving indoor air quality.

A clogged air filter inhibits the proper airflow through your forced air system. This restriction can result in issues like a frozen air conditioner or inadequate cooling. It may also cause excessive wear and tear on your equipment and higher electricity costs because a lack of airflow causes your system to work harder to keep your home comfortable.

Most experts recommend that you change out your cooling system’s air filter at least every three months. However, factors like if you have pets, how many people live in your home and how often your system runs can necessitate more frequent filter replacements. Many homeowners inspect their filters once a month to gain a better sense of how quickly they get dirty and ensure they change them when needed.

Helpful AC Services

GVEC Air Conditioning & Heating offers helpful AC services for Gonzales, TX area and surrounding areas. Our trained technicians can assist with your cooling, heating, commercial HVAC, ductwork and indoor air quality needs. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced team members.

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