If you're waiting until the weather gets hotter to turn your air conditioner on, you might want to change your plans. To make sure your air conditioning is ready for action, you should actually take it on a test-run before the weather turns hot. Before you start dealing with triple-digit temperatures, take your air conditioner on a test-run and take care of the issues described below.
Clear the Ducts
If it's been a few months since you used your heater for winter warming, the ducts may have filled with some dust and debris. The best way to clear the air is to run your air conditioner a few times before you need it full-time. Running the air conditioner through a few cycles prior to summer will allow you to clear the air, and determine if you need to have your ducts professionally cleaned. One way to tell if your ducts need to be professionally cleaned is to give your home the smell test. If the air still smells dirty and musty after a few cycles, your ducts need to be cleaned.
Listen for Sounds
If you're like most people, you haven't used your air conditioner since last summer. During that time of dormancy, issues could have developed with your system. If you wait until the temperatures rise to turn your air conditioner on, you might be left to face problems during peak cooling season. One way to prevent that is to turn your air conditioner on early and listen for sounds. While your air conditioner is going through the cycles, listen for unusual sounds, such as clicking, ticking, or grinding – especially during startup. Early identification of those sounds will allow you to take care of the problems before things get too hot.
Test the Thermostat
If your thermostat caused you some problems during the fall and winter, chances are good that the issues will continue through the summer. While the temperatures are still comfortable, program your thermostat and send it through several cooling cycles. You'll want to make sure that your thermostat is able to run the cycles, with starts and stops at the right temperature settings. If your thermostat is unable to run the program, or you don't have a programmable thermostat, you should have a new one installed before summer is in full swing.
If your test run identified issues with your air conditioner, you need to schedule repairs as soon as possible. You'll want to do this for a couple of reasons. First, those early repairs will ensure that your air conditioner is ready for full-time use this summer. Second, scheduling repairs early in the season will help you avoid the rush when everyone else is dealing with air conditioner issues.