Well, it is now here.  We were able to stretch out the spring, light air and cooler evenings, but the heat is here with a vengeance in the greater Philadelphia area, and HVAC Philly is ready and available to assist in all of your air conditioning needs from installation, to repair. We serve the whole Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties, and have expert technicians available to aide in emergency repairs. We at HVAC Philly are committed to providing excellent service and expert advice. Here are some steps you should be sure to follow before turning on your air conditioning unit this season.

heat wave in the city and hand showing thermometer for high temp

Some years in the Philadelphia area, it seems we have two seasons: winter and summer. We sometimes go from freezing cold temperatures and excessive use of our furnace or boiler system right to sweltering heat and regular use of our air conditioners.

While weather has been cooler and very spring like, we all know that a break in the weather means summer is coming — and coming fast!

Soon enough, you and many other homeowners will be looking for relief from the heat that only comes from your central air conditioning system. You will want your system to work not only the first time you need it, but every time you turn it on this summer.

Now is the time to check your system for any problems or needed maintenance. By checking your system now, you can do any simple repairs that may need to done or call for service from a professional, such as HVAC Philly,  before the weather gets warmer.

By waiting and hoping, when you go to turn on the system on our first hot day, you could cause days of discomfort while you wait for repairs., ,

Here are our recommended, simple steps, you can take to visually and physically inspect the different parts of your system to make sure your air conditioning will work when you need it.

 

Indoor Equipment Vital to Your Overall Well Being

Begin with your thermostat in the “off” position with the temperature turned to a high setting (around 80 degrees), then proceed to check the following:

1. Look at thermostat. Is it outdated? You could save money and energy by installing a newer, programmable thermostat.

2. Check any exposed duct work for wear, which could be a source of cooling loss or inefficiency in the home.

3. Look at air vents around the home. Remove any items that could block airflow, such as drapes, furniture or toys.

4. Check the drain line. There is a drain by the indoor cooling coil, typically mounted above the furnace in the basement.

If you flush one cup of chlorine bleach down your air conditioning drain and rinse it with a gallon of water, you can keep your drain clear through the summer. Air conditioner drain lines become clogged when there is a build up of dirt collected by the indoor coil.

5. Change your air filter. The filter should be changed every three months (or as recommended by the manufacturer) and definitely before the start of a new cooling or heating season.

6. Check circuits to be sure electrical connections are on.

7. Be sure the power is turned “on” at the furnace/air conditioning unit.

 

Outdoor Equipment Your System Won’t Run Without

8. Inspect the outdoor condenser unit. Make sure there is no blockage in or near the equipment and clean the area around the unit. Leaves, vines or debris can block the interior components and affect performance.

Also you want to check for any missing panels. The panels are designed to enclose the electrical connections. 

9. Visually check the refrigerant lines. The lines should be insulated. Proper insulation will improve the efficiency of the system. Repairs to the insulation or refrigerant lines should be done by a professional.

10. Check to make sure there is no wear on the outdoor electrical wiring. If you see damage or wear, call a professional for service before using your system.

11. Know when it’s time your air conditioner may have reached retirement age. Air conditioners have a life span. Even if your unit has been properly maintained, it will eventually wear out.

Time to Turn on Your A/C

After you have checked your indoor and outdoor equipment as described above, you can turn on the system to test it.

  • Lower the temperature on your thermostat to the desired level and turn the system “on” at the thermostat.
  • Go outside and listen to make sure that the fan in the condenser is running and that it doesn’t sound irregular. The air coming out of the top of the unit should feel warm, as warm air is being removed from your home by the system.
  • Let the system run for 10 – 15 minutes or more, until you can feel the indoor temperature cooling off in all parts of the home.

Troubleshooting and Energy Tips

It is a good idea to hire a good service technician at least once per year for regular maintenance to keep your system running efficiently in each season. If you ran into any problems or concerns during your air conditioning inspection, you should call a professional for service in advance of the summer season when you’ll want your system to be ready to cool your home.

To help keep your energy bills under control during the summer, you can lower costs by simply increasing the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees. Here’s a related blog post that can help you with additional tips on saving money and energy by using recommended temperature settings.

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HVAC Service Provided to

Philadelphia, South PhiladelphiaFeastervilleBensalem, Bristol, Langhorne, Yardley, Fairless hills, Churchville, Newtown, Southamptown,  Warminster,  Holland,  Jamison,  Morrisville.Elkins park, Cheltenham, Glenside, Abington, Huntingdon valley, Willow grooveHorsham and Jenkintown.

 

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