Three Maintenance And Repair Steps To Take Before Turning On An Unused Air Conditioner

When it's finally time to turn on an air conditioner that has been shut off for longer than several months, it will need more attention and preparation than usual. An air conditioner that is left unused for at least a year will need a thorough inspection, and will also likely need some repairs before it's ready to to turn again.

Have the Outdoor Unit Inspected and Cleaned

As the part of your air conditioner most exposed to the elements, your air conditioner's outdoor unit will need a thorough cleaning and inspection before you turn your air conditioner on again.

A good way to start is by removing any coverings or awnings that were set up to protect the air conditioner, then cleaning the area around the unit from weeds, dirt, and anything else that may be nearby. Next, inspect the outside of the unit for any signs of damage, such as bent or damaged fins, which can often be repaired. If you used a cover over your entire unit, check for any signs of rust or corrosion; full covers can often hold in moisture instead of letting it evaporate, which can be harmful over time.

Check Your Ducts and Related Components

A good set of ducts and a quality air filter will keep most dust out of your air conditioner's parts, but some will still inevitably filter in over time. This can happen more quickly if you're using a dirty filter or if there are gaps in your ducts.

The easiest thing to do is check and replace your air filter if it's necessary. After that, call a professional to inspect your ducts. This will help not just for efficiency purposes, but also to make sure any problems are caught before you start using your air conditioner again. For example, if there is too much dust on your blower motor wheel, it may no longer work correctly, which can put greater strain on your air conditioner system and potentially cause the part to break. Along with your ducts, parts like your blower motor itself should be checked to make sure they are clean and ready to use.

Replace Thermostat Batteries

If your thermostat uses batteries rather than running off your home's power supply, and your air conditioner has been inactive for a long period of time, it may be time to replace the batteries. This can happen for a few reasons. The first is that the batteries may simply be out of power; even if the thermostat isn't actively being used, the batteries slowly discharge over time, and without enough power, your thermostat won't work.

The second reason is that batteries left alone for long periods of time can leak or corrode, which can look like white gunk or powder near the terminals. These batteries should not be used, and should be replaced immediately, but this corrosion may not be obvious unless you make it a point to double check your thermostat before resuming operation. If the batteries corrode too much, there's a chance they could damage the electrical mechanisms of your thermostat itself, which could require repair or replacement.

For more information, contact an AC system repair service today.