With hotter weather on the way -- or already here, in some parts of the country -- it's time to check out your air conditioner to ensure you keep your home cool in the next few months. Preparing your air conditioner requires that you set aside some time, but it's a straightforward project that won't take very long.
Change your air conditioning filter; you should do this monthly anyway, but if you've gotten a bit lax, start off with this easy task. After that, go outside to the compressor, if you have a central or mini-split system, remove any winter coverings you added, and clear away yard debris. Remove leaves, webs, and dust, and trim grass and plants around the equipment. For window and wall units, do the same to both the inner and outer halves of the unit.
Inspect the Parts
If you're mechanically inclined, inspect the parts of the air conditioner starting with the compressor and moving on to the pipe insulation and the drainage hose. If you're not so inclined or want extra help, contact an AC repair company to perform a complete system evaluation.
Consider Vent Cleaning
Dust all vent openings and grilles, and also consider having an AC repair company clean out the ducts.
Inspect your windows and doors to ensure all are closing properly and completely, and that the weatherstripping is still in good shape. Also, check any ceiling fans to ensure they are set to rotate so they send a cool breeze down on your head (this is usually counter-clockwise). They should not still be on the cold-weather setting, which redistributes warm air that's gathered at the ceiling back into the rest of the room.
Take care of the preparation as soon as possible. The sooner you find and solve any issues with the system, the more comfortable you'll be in your home.