Spring cleaning isn’t just for the visible parts of your home. Your air conditioning system gets a workout during a long, hot Florida summer. Make sure it’s up to the task with maintenance work and upgrades that will maximize its cooling power while minimizing your utility bills.

Clean Your Outdoor Unit

A central air conditioning unit has two parts: an inside system of evaporation coils and an external unit that houses the compressor and the fan that removes waste heat. If leaves, twigs and lawn debris impede the movement of the exhaust fan, you could limit your system’s efficiency. Give your air conditioner’s outdoor unit a bath with a garden hose to remove lawn clippings and leaves from its grill. Keep plants near the unit trimmed so the fan can remove waste heat from your home effectively.

Arrange an Inspection and Maintenance Visit

A professional air conditioning repair team handles more than emergencies. Certified HVAC technicians can also inspect every part of your system and perform important maintenance jobs. The team can do everything from changing filters and checking drip pans to cleaning ductwork and maintaining proper refrigerant levels. Inspections catch problems such as coolant leaks or malfunctioning compressors before they become major expenses. Preventive maintenance can also improve your unit’s efficiency, saving you money every day.

Turn on Your AC Before You Need It

Florida weather is unpredictable, but summer heat is a given. Instead of predicting the first day to top 90 degrees and trying to hold out until then, give your air conditioner a trial run on a temperate spring day. It’s better to discover a problem when the weather’s still mild than to realize you need a new thermostat on the hottest day of the year. Monitor the air temperature near vents; air should come out about 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the ambient room temperature. This temperature differential, not the vent temperature alone, is a key indicator of how well your air conditioner is performing.

Replace Your Thermostat

Programmable thermostats can improve the efficiency of your air conditioner by as much as 30 percent while keeping you cool and comfortable. Older thermostats don’t account for how you use your home, but a programmable thermostat is sensitive to your schedule. Set it higher during the day when no one’s home and let it cool the air when you’re there to appreciate it. If you like to feel cozy at night and cool in the morning, your thermostat can oblige. Some sophisticated models even feature cooling zones that let you adjust temperatures throughout your home.

Add Insulation

Without proper insulation in your home, even the best air conditioner can’t do its job. This spring, give your air conditioner a break by adding more insulation to your attic and sealing ductwork well. Before insulating, ask for professional advice. Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical of Wellington, FL, offers pressure testing that shows where leaks and poorly insulated areas are losing cool air.