When was the last time that you had your air conditioning serviced? Last year? Two years ago? Never?
At a recent home inspection I came across an opening in the side of a home that was housing a bee hive. This video clearly shows why you should always make sure that openings in the exterior of your home are sealed. These bees get into the wall and displace the insulation as they build their colonies. My recommendation to the new home owner was to have these bees exterminated, removed, and then to have the insulation replaced... Oh, and to make sure that all openings in the home's exterior are sealed.
Just like any of the other systems in our homes, our air conditioners need periodic maintenance to keep them running smoothly. We want the air conditioner to work when we need it right?
Some experts argue that some AC covers actually trap moisture inside your air conditioner for long periods of time which could then lead to the rust as well as the exact same icing problem as when it wasn’t covered. Others point out that covers on AC units keep them dry and relatively clean and free from a steady cold wind - which makes them a perfect place for mice, chipmunks and other critters to snuggle in for the winter and chew your air conditioners wires to shreds.
It's Spring and along with that comes the urge to make everything clean, fresh, and new again. Now is the best time to take care of some often-overlooked household cleaning tasks that can save you big dollars in the future. As a home inspector, I often see that some of the costliest repairs are ones that could easily have been prevented with simple maintenance steps earlier on.
Central Air Conditioning should never be operated in cold weather. This can cause serious damage to the compressor unit. You should not use your central air conditioner unless the outdoor temperature has been above 65 degrees for at least 24 hours.
Remember to uncover the unit if it has been covered over the winter months. At the start of the cooling season, when you are about to start using the air conditioning unit, you need to make sure that the power is on for a minimum of 24 hours.
The thermostat should be switched off, and left off for at least 24 hours before operating the Air Conditioning Unit.
Most condensing units have a compressor crank case heater that allows a heater to warm the crank case lubricant. When the compressor crank case is cold, the coolant can be partially absorbed into the lubricant. This will result in frothing of the lubricant, and can cause undue wear on bearings, etc. Turning on power to the unit at least 24 hours before use will allow for the crank case lubricant to heat up and will release any coolant absorption from the lubricant.
After a minimum of 24 hours, the unit can be run safely. so, the net is... Just make sure that the power to the air conditioning unit is on at least 24 hours prior to using the air conditioning.