How to Prepare AC for the Insane Heat

It seems like we’re just getting done complaining about how cold it’s been before it’s time to shift our attention to being argumentative about the insane heat. Most of us would take the heat over the bitter cold any day but no matter what your tolerance for the sun’s wrath, it’s important to make sure your air conditioner is ready to be deployed in case one of those hot days sneaks up on you. Sometimes the long storage over winter isn’t kind to our air conditioning units so here’s a basic guide on how to get it ready for the cooling season.


Whether you have a window air conditioning unit or a Central Air Conditioning compressor that sits outside, the first thing you need to do to get it ready to be run again is clean it up. If you stored your window unit in an attic or garage it will need to be cleaned up with some compressed air to get into the vents and wiped down with a cleaner to spiffy up the outside.

Filter Replacement / Buy Extra Filters

Besides the plug-in that gives your air conditioner power the next most important thing you need is a new air-filter. In fact when you go out to the hardware store pick up about 5 of them so you won’t have any excuse not to replace the filter about once a month. Having an unimpeded air flow takes some of the pressure of your unit, since it’s going to be running hard for the next few months anyway. The flow of air not only saves the life of the air conditioner, it also helps to lower utility bills as the unit runs more efficiently. Finally, the main reason you always want clean air filters is so that the cool air you’re breathing in your living room is actually clean and not full of dust, pollen, and bacteria.

Duct Check

air conditioningThe A/C unit itself is not the only thing that needs to be inspected before opening up the throttle for a summer chilling session, after all the duct work and vents are just as vital to the whole operating system. During the down time between the furnace running and air-conditioning kicking on there may be some dust and debris that builds up on the register and that can be quickly cleaned up to prevent a cloud of smoke from encompassing you. After that you should check out the actual ventwork so there are no leaks that could drive up your utility bills even higher and prevent maximum efficiency in your air conditioner. Sometimes service personnel who work on air conditioners Edmonton can do a pressure test or use their equipment to find out if there are possible leaks in your ventilation.

Are Fan Belts Rotten, Loose, There at All?

Another thing that needs to be checked if your A/C has sat idle for awhile is the fan belts and other timing mechanisms within the unit. The rubber can easily rot, break or simply wear out especially if stored in a cold or wet basement or utility room. Sometime during a hot Spring or Summer you should recheck these belts because they can stretch out over time and should have just a minimal amount of slack. It takes only seconds to tighten the belt whereas changing them can be a little complicated the first time but a cinch going forward.

Dry Run

Of course one of the final steps in getting your air conditioners Edmonton ready for action is to give it a dry run, a test drive so to speak. On a nice summer day close all your doors and windows and fire up the old girl to see if it actually begins to cool down the house after a period of time. By doing a dry run early you can troubleshoot any problems before a 90 degree day hits and you get even more frustrated. Plus running your A/C that has sat dormant for a few months is a great way to flush the system of all the dirt and grime that has seeped its way into the ventwork over the winter.

Professional Tune-Up

If you notice some issues while performing your early season test run such as loud noises, loose parts, spewing dust, or just a lack of cooling, it’s probably best to bring in an air conditioners Edmonton specialist to perform a tune up. The pros can troubleshoot a problem in minutes while at the same time tightening up belts and other components and making sure any fluids are at their optimum levels. The contractor might even scope out the landscape of your home and point out areas where you’re losing money literally out a window with bad seals or a sun-facing bedroom without drapes or curtains. In a nutshell an air conditioning / HVAC specialist can give your system the final rundown so there’s no question you’ll be ready for the scorching days of summer.

There are also a few things to remember about storing your A/C for the winter months to make sure it fires right up next summer. Make sure to store all window units upright and if possible in a climate controlled area. If placing in a garage or storage shed always remember to wrap the unit with a tarp, plastic, or blankets tightly so no uninvited guests make a winter den out of it. Finally don’t store anything on top of the unit or in a spot where items could fall off and get damaged. Last, remember to check back to this page next year about the same time of year after yet another winter of cursing and complaining about the snow and cold.