Experts say now is the time to prepare your air conditioner as summer heat approaches

Keeping your filters clean is an important part of maintaining your air conditioner.
Morris-Jenkins Technician working on a AC unit
Morris-Jenkins Technician working on a AC unit(Lowell Rose)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 7:04 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Right now is the time to start thinking about your air conditioning, because if you haven’t noticed, it’s starting to get hot outside.

If this is your first time turning on your AC unit this year, experts say you should get it checked by a technician first.

“If something sits for a couple of months and doesn’t turn on, anything, your car or whatever it is, when you go to turn it on, sometimes the motor is going to lock up, sometimes the battery is not going to work properly, so I would say just not turn it on,” Rik Williams, who is a demand technician for Morris-Jenkins Air Conditioning, said.

As the temperatures rise, calls for service are starting to pick up around Charlotte.

Morris-Jenkins Air Conditioning said they’re seeing 500-700 calls everyday right now, and those calls could increase to 2,000 per day once the heat kicks in.

“One of the most common problems are, units have been sitting all winter, they go to turn them on and they just don’t turn on, so that would be number one,” Williams said.

That problem could mean the unit has dead batteries, is low on freon, or the filters need to be changed.

It’s not just the first flip of the switch causing issues, the increase in temperature is a factor on your unit too.

“The cooler it is outside, your air conditioning may still work, freon charge inside of it could still work when it’s cool outside, but once those high temperatures hit, it’s not going to keep up anymore, so that’s why when these numbers go up, we start seeing more and more breakdowns,” Morris-Jenkins field trainer Erica Clind said.

Clind gave some advice to people looking for ways to keep their units running smooth this summer.

“Keeping your filters clean, those should be replaced every one to three months, outdoor coils need to be cleaned at least once a season, you can spray those with a hose but we like to have a professional get it cleaned from the inside out,” Clind said.

Another important tip when running your AC is putting the fan on the ‘auto’ function instead of leaving it running.

“When it’s on, the humidity on the house will actually increase, so to keep the humidity levels low in your house you want to keep that on auto,” Clind said.

If you’re inspecting your AC unit, you want to make sure it’s running and there’s no ice accumulating. Experts say simple things can make all the difference.

“I preach preventative maintenance, just having it cleaned, having it looked at, is key to breakdowns and stretching the life out,” Williams said.

Air conditioning experts say if your AC unit is running all day long, trying to keep up, and your home doesn’t cool down, you should call a technician to check things out.

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