Some people wait until they need their air-con unit before switching it on. Then, they get surprised and disappointed when the unit refuses to function. AC units are like other types of equipment. When they are left idle, they can suffer damage from corrosion, moisture, and other dirt and debris. The time to check that your unit is working is right now, not in mid-summer.
Ideally, you should get a HVAC technician to look at your system at least once a year. You may have the knowledge and the skills to do some basic maintenance yourself, but an HVAC technician will spot potential problems that you might miss. These potential problems can then be dealt with before they become real ones.
The most economical way to have your HVAC unit serviced annually is to arrange a maintenance agreement with a local HVAC technician. The fees for this type of agreement tend to be much lower than those charged when you just call up asking somebody to come look at your system. With a maintenance agreement in place, you can rest assured that your unit will always be running efficiently, saving you money. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that it is unlikely to break down. You will also know that if problems do crop up, you will get priority treatment from your HVAC technician because you are already a customer.
Even when you do have an agreement in place, you should still check that all is working correctly at least a few weeks before you are likely to need your unit. There could be a long time delay between your technician’s last maintenance visit and the start of the hot weather. Remove any boxes, debris or other clutter from around your air-con unit. These items can reduce its efficiency, and they provide gathering points for dust and pests.
Have a look for any signs of leaking refrigerant. If you see some, then get a suitably qualified HVAC expert in to clean it up and replace it. Take out your filters and clean or replace them if necessary. Even when the unit is not in use, air passes through the filters, leaving dust and other debris behind. Remove visible debris from the condenser (the part of the unit that is outside). Switch on your unit, and leave it running until you are sure everything is fine. Don’t forget to check that the unit switches off and on automatically at the correct thermostat settings.