Summer has finally arrived! Your AC is turned on, BUT, is it running the way it should be? Will it last the long hot humid months ahead? Most people schedule annual maintenance visits by a qualified HVAC technician to catch any issues. For newer equipment, this is also critical to protect your Manufacturer’s Limited Parts Warranty.
By paying attention to your HVAC system and scheduling maintenance for your air conditioner, you can make sure your home will be comfortable during the hottest months of the year.
What Can I Do?
To ensure your air conditioner is running efficiently and reliably there are a few simple things that you can do yourself, and the rest should be handled by an experienced, trustworthy technician.
Make Sure Your Thermostat is Working
Since the thermostat is your primary control center for your air conditioner, it’s important that it’s working properly. If you’re having problems with turning on your cooling system, it’s possible that the issue is not with the air conditioner itself, but with the thermostat.
If your thermostat has a blank screen, isn’t responding to controls, or your air conditioner won’t turn off, be sure to check if your thermostat uses batteries and, if so, they may need to be replaced. Before calling Metro Air Limited, you can try replacing the batteries and testing the thermostat again to ensure it has power. Try turning the fan setting to “on” and see if the furnace fan is blowing air through your vents. If you changed the batteries and the AC is still not working, you can go onto the next step. (If the thermostat screen is blank and it does not use batteries, contact us and we would be happy to quote and install a new thermostat for you.)
Take a Look at Your Landscaping
Many homeowners don’t consider the outdoor environment of their air conditioner. But in order for your AC to properly cool your home, it needs space all around it. If you have overgrown grass, bushes, or other greenery around your outside unit, it can limit the air intake. Clear out any debris like leaves or twigs and make sure it has enough room to breathe.
Check Your Furnace Filter
If your furnace filter is dirty, your air conditioner will have a much harder time performing as it should due to restricted airflow. There are two parts to a central air conditioning system. Usually we only pay attention to the unit outside. However, the second part of your air conditioner, the A-Coil, is located inside the ductwork above your furnace. You can’t see it, but it’s there. When the airflow over this coil is restricted by a dirty furnace filter your AC cannot cool your house properly. Amazing as this may sound, a sheet of ice can actually build up inside the vent above your furnace when there’s not enough air flow. You may also see a bit of ice or frost on your outside unit or around its connection pipes. Your next step would be to 1) Change the furnace filter and 2) Leave the AC turned off until the ice melts. This can take 24-48 hours depending on the outside temperature and the amount of ice buildup. Until the ice has melted, you won’t have any cooling. You can leave the furnace fan in the “on” position to help speed up the melting process.
The furnace filter can be located in a few different places, depending on the type of system you have. Usually it is right beside your furnace. Once you’ve located the air filter, it’s typically as easy as lifting the air filter out of its slot. It should be relatively easy to tell if it’s dirty.
Not all filters are the same and you will need to check what the correct size is for your system. You can find the size of the filter printed on the side (such as 16x25x4). Depending on the type of filter you are using, the cleaning or replacement schedule can vary greatly. As a general rule of thumb, thicker air filters usually last longer than thinner (usually around 1”) filters. Some high efficiency 5” media filters may last several months, while standard filters may need to be replaced monthly, all depending on a number of factors. Each home and HVAC setup will have a slightly different optimal cleaning or replacement schedule, but more often is always better than not often enough.
We recommend following manufacturer recommendations, and are always glad to provide you with information and recommendations that will work well for your situation. Your technician can help you determine the best schedule to accommodate the type of filter you use and your heating and cooling habits.
Contact Metro Air Limited for an AC Tune-Up or Service Visit
If you have doubts your air conditioner is working properly and have tried some of the tips above please don’t hesitate to contact Metro Air Limited. Our licensed HVAC technicians will make quick work of diagnosing your AC system and getting it back to optimum performance. We have been performing this important service for homeowners in Brampton and the surrounding areas for several decades. We are well-versed with virtually all makes and models of cooling systems, and have a well-established track record for HVAC expertise-from inspecting the intricate mechanical and electrical components of your air conditioner to a deeper cleaning, refrigerant pressure check, and so much more, we have what it takes so you can enjoy a cool, relaxing summer inside your home.