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DIY Air Conditioner Pre-Check 101

It’s that glorious time of year again when most Minnesotans can switch off their heat and leave the windows open, but soon the temps will rise, and we’ll all turn to our thermostats for a little cool relief. But did you know it’s not quite so simple as just switching on your air conditioner? Doing a little preventative maintenance on your unit now can save you from paying for costly repairs or an expensive electricity bill later when you really need to use it. Better yet, this step-by-step list can all be done on your own!

Step One: Replace your furnace filter

You may be unaware that most air conditioners cycle air through the home’s furnace, which means you need to continue to replace your furnace’s filter every 1-3 months throughout the year, even if your furnace isn’t running to heat your home. Air filters are vital for normal airflow, keeping your home’s air clean, and maintaining your unit’s efficiency. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%! Lean towards replacing your furnace’s filter every month if it’s subjected to a lot of dust, pollen, or pet hair during summer months.

Step Two: Get rid of debris

Make sure to inspect your air conditioner’s condensing unit (the large metal box with a fan found outside your home) for dirt, leaves, and/or other debris that may have gotten stuck inside/around the unit over the winter. You’ll want to make sure your condensing unit is clean and free of debris to prevent dirty and clogged coils later on.

Step Three: Test the unit

After checking on everything mentioned above, turn your air conditioner on by switching your thermostat to “cool” early in the season to make sure it’s running correctly before you really need it. If you can feel cool air coming out of your vents as expected, you should be good to go!

Step Four: When in doubt, call a professional

There are a few more steps you can take – such as checking electrical components, lightly oiling your condensing unit’s motor, and checking refrigerant levels – but these tasks shouldn’t necessarily be tackled by a novice. If you’re at all unsure about checking your air conditioning unit yourself or if you think something is wrong during your pre-check, you can trust the service team at Valor Mechanical to do a full evaluation of your system for you and make any necessary repairs or replacements. Call us 507.218.8400 to schedule a preventative maintenance inspection on your air conditioner and prepare for the dog days of summer.