How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Summer

AC For Summer Blog

With summer's warm embrace just around the corner, it's essential to ensure that your air conditioning system is in tip-top shape to provide the cool, comforting breeze you'll crave during the sweltering months.

We understand the importance of a well-prepared air conditioner (AC), so we've compiled a comprehensive guide to help you prepare your central air conditioner for summer.


Step 1: Check and Replace Your Air Filter

A clean air filter is crucial for maintaining air quality and ensuring your AC system operates efficiently. Dirty filters restrict airflow, forcing your system to work harder, which can lead to increased energy consumption and reduced lifespan of the unit. We recommend checking your air filter monthly and replacing it at least every three months, or more often if you have pets or suffer from allergies.

Step 2: Clean Around The Outdoor Unit

The outdoor condenser unit plays a pivotal role in your AC's cooling process, but it can easily become clogged with leaves, dirt, and debris. To ensure optimal performance, clear any debris around the unit and trim back vegetation to allow at least two feet of clearance. This simple task can significantly improve your system's efficiency and longevity.

Step 3: Inspect and Clean the Condensate Drain Line

The condensate drain line removes the moisture your AC collects from the air, but it can become blocked over time. A clogged drain can cause water damage and affect indoor humidity levels. To prevent blockage, periodically flush the line with a mixture of bleach and water to keep it clear.

Step 4: Examine Your Thermostat

Your thermostat is the brain of your AC system. Before the Colorado summer heat kicks in, make sure your thermostat is functioning correctly and consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. These innovative devices offer better temperature control, energy savings, and the convenience of adjusting settings remotely via a smartphone app.

Step 5: Schedule Professional Maintenance

Even if you're diligent about DIY maintenance, nothing beats a professional tune-up. A certified HVAC technician can perform a comprehensive check of your system, including inspecting coolant levels and ensuring all parts are in good working order. Regular professional maintenance not only enhances performance but also helps prevent unexpected breakdowns during peak summer days.

Step 6: Consider Upgrading Your Insulation

Good insulation doesn't just keep heat in during the winter; it also keeps heat out during the summer, making your home easier to cool. Check your attic, walls, and floors for adequate insulation. Upgrading your insulation can significantly reduce your cooling costs and improve comfort.

Step 7: Test Your Air Conditioner

After completing these steps, it's time to test your system. Turn on your AC, and listen for any unusual noises. Ensure that cool air is flowing through your vents and check different areas of your home for consistent cooling. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it may be time to call in a professional.


The Risks of Neglecting AC Maintenance

Neglecting regular maintenance on your air conditioning (AC) unit can lead to a host of problems, some of which may significantly impact its efficiency, performance, and lifespan. Understanding these potential risks can underscore the importance of keeping your AC system well-maintained.

Decreased Efficiency and Increased Energy Bills

One of the immediate consequences of poor AC maintenance is decreased efficiency. When filters are clogged and coils are dirty, the system has to work harder to cool your home, consuming more energy and leading to higher utility bills. An inefficient system strains to achieve desired temperatures, often failing to adequately cool your space while still running up your energy costs.

Frequent Repairs and System Breakdowns

A lack of regular maintenance can cause parts of your AC system to wear out more quickly or malfunction, necessitating frequent repairs. Components such as the compressor, which is vital for cooling your home, can fail prematurely due to strain caused by clogged filters or leaking refrigerant. These repairs can be costly and inconvenient, especially during peak summer months when you most need your AC to work flawlessly.

Poor Air Quality

An unmaintained AC unit can become a breeding ground for dust, pollen, mold, and other allergens that can circulate throughout your home, deteriorating the indoor air quality. For individuals with allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues, this can lead to discomfort and health problems. Regular cleaning and filter changes are essential to ensure your AC provides not only cool air but also clean, healthy air.

Reduced Lifespan of the Unit

Each part of your AC system plays a critical role in its overall operation. When one part isn't maintained, it can affect the whole system, leading to premature wear and tear. This neglect can drastically reduce the lifespan of your AC unit, turning what could have been years of efficient cooling into a costly replacement sooner than you anticipated.

Increased Humidity Levels

Properly maintained AC units not only cool the air but also remove excess moisture, which helps control humidity levels. Without regular maintenance, your AC's ability to dehumidify the air can be compromised, leading to uncomfortable levels of humidity inside your home. High humidity can also contribute to mold growth and attract pests, creating additional problems for homeowners.

Voided Warranty

Many manufacturers require regular maintenance as a condition of the warranty. Neglecting maintenance can void this warranty, leaving you without coverage if your system experiences a major failure. Adhering to a regular maintenance schedule ensures that, should something go wrong, you are more likely to be protected under your warranty.


In conclusion, the importance of regular AC maintenance cannot be overstated. By investing a little time and effort into maintaining your air conditioning system, you can avoid these risks, ensuring your unit operates efficiently, saves you money in the long run, and provides a comfortable, healthy environment for your family.

By following this guide, you can rest assured that your air conditioner will be ready to beat the summer heat. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in ensuring your summer is filled with comfortable, cool air instead of repair bills and frustration.

At Craig Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, we're here to help with all your AC needs, from maintenance and repair to new installations. We're committed to helping you keep your AC in peak condition, safeguarding your comfort and investment.

Contact us today to schedule your pre-summer tune-up and ensure a cool, comfortable home all season long.