How to get your air conditioner summer ready

It’s already starting to warm up, and before long you’ll need to have the air conditioner on full-time. But before you can get ready to cool your home or business for the summer, there are a few preparatory steps. Keep everything running smoothly and prevent damages by doing these five things before you switch the air onto “cool”:

1. Make sure you change the filter
If you don’t do this, you risk damages to the air conditioner parts from dust, pollen, and other particles. If the filter is allowed to get dirty, it may become too difficult to circulate air, leading to ice in the unit and, once again, damaging the equipment. It’s recommended that you change the filter once a month. And if you see ice beginning to form, call your A/C professional right away.

2. Make sure there are no leaves or debris on the outdoor unit
If anything is covering the outdoor unit, it prevents the air from circulating as it should. Make sure the grass around it is cut to a relatively short length and make sure the unit isn’t surrounded by bushes or foliage. Store all outdoor items such as yard equipment and bicycles an appropriate distance away.

3. Clear the condensate drain
Because of the moisture in this drain near the outdoor unit of the A/C, algae and sludge often build up inside it which will need to be cleared. If this drain gets backed up, water can flow the opposite direction into your home. To clean it, remove the end of the drain and use a regular shop vac.

4. Check the refrigerant level
If the larger line of the two copper lines running to the condenser unit does not feel cool to the touch while the A/C is running, you are likely running low on coolant. Call your A/C professional if you need to refill it.

5. Make sure the slab where the condenser unit sits is level
If it’s not, you’re going to want to elevate it carefully with an extra implement such as a board and then add small quantities of gravel until it’s level once again. Remove the board when you’re done.

Finally, just to be certain you’re good to go, you’re going to want to schedule a checkup for your system with an A/C professional, which will identify any issues with your system and ensure that you experience a comfortable summer indoors. ServiceFirst Heating and Cooling provides quality A/C service with a customer-first mentality. Visit to learn more.