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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

“Test Drive” Your AC This Spring

heating-cooling-ventBefore the warm weather settles in to stay for the middle of the year, you want to eliminate any worries you may have about your air conditioning system. The best way to do that is to call to arrange for air conditioning maintenance in Fenton, MI through our maintenance plan. Make this a step you take every spring, and you’ll have a much healthier and cost-effective AC system.

You can also do some checks on your own with a test-drive during cooler weather. This isn’t a replacement for maintenance, but a supplement. In fact, you can do the test-drive after you schedule maintenance before the actual appointment. This way, you can tell your maintenance technician about anything you’ve noticed that may be wrong, and they can focus their efforts.

To get started, simply turn on the AC during a day when you wouldn’t otherwise require it (you may need to set the temperature lower than you normally would), and look for the following:

Proper airflow from the vents

Go to each room in the house and find the room vents. If the vents are blocked, clear them, since blocked vents can harm the HVAC system. Put your hand near the vents to see if the airflow from them is strong. Weak airflow can indicate the filter is clogged, there are leaks in the ductwork, or something is wrong with the blower assembly.

Check the temperature of the air from the vents

While you’re feeling for airflow, see if the air coming from the vents is cool. If the air doesn’t appear to be cooling down, recheck on the thermostat setting to see if the unit is switching over to cooling mode and isn’t still in “fan-only” mode. Listen for the sound of the compressor in the outdoor unit to indicate that cooling has started. If you still don’t feel enough cooling, it may be a major problem.

Locate any hot spots in the house

Once the AC has been on for at least fifteen minutes, go to each of the rooms to see if they are cooling down to your expectations. Some rooms will naturally feel hotter than others because of sunlight exposure or lower levels of insulation. If you notice large discrepancies, it may point to a number of possible problems with the HVAC system.

Pay attention to the length of the cooling cycles

An AC runs in cooling cycles that last a minimum of 15 minutes. During a cycle, the compressor in the condenser turns on and runs until the thermostat indoors detects the house has reached its target temperature. The compressor then cycles off until the thermostat registers cooling is needed again. If the compressor stays on almost continually, or it runs in brief cycles over and over again, a malfunction is affecting the AC that needs professional attention.

If everything about the air conditioner appears fine, you still need experts to inspect and tune it up. There are many small tasks necessary to keep an AC in peak condition, and numerous smaller problems can escape the attention of amateurs.

If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice! First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the Surrounding Areas.

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