What to Do Before Turning on AC for First Time

The weather is starting to heat up and you are eager to flip the switch on your air conditioning system for the first time. It?s been sitting there since spring, waiting to be used, but now you wonder if there are any tasks that should be completed before its first use. Depending on the type of system you had installed there are a few things you should keep in mind before you cool down your house. They include:

  • Outdoor Cleaning ? First, make sure the outdoor unit (if you have a central AC system) is cleaned up nicely. Clear away any leaves, remove the cover and check the system for any growth or debris that might have gotten under the cover. Check the air supply registers to make sure they are open and either replace or clean your filters depending on whether they are permanent or disposable.
  • Check Your Thermostat ? The thermostat should be checked before you start using the system. To do this, set the system to Auto-cool and then lower the thermostat setting to one degree lower than the actual temperature in the room. If the system turns on, the thermostat is working properly. Let it run for a few hours to make sure this stays consistent.
  • Clear Away Winter and Spring Dust ? Now that your system is running, make sure you check the filters for any buildup of dust that was in the ductwork. Over the off season, your ducts might develop a layer of dust and debris, especially if your heating system doesn’t make use of them. The filters might clog quickly as a result.
  • Check for Water Leaks ? Your condensate overflow drain should work properly as well ? check for any potential leaks during the first 48 hours of operation. Even a small leak should be checked immediately to avoid potential problems as summer cooling season kicks in.

If you notice any problems other than those listed above, you should call a service professional immediately. Ideally you will have your system inspected in early-mid spring to ensure it is ready for the summer, but even so problems can develop between inspection and first running. Electrical issues especially should be checked immediately.

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