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Air Conditioning basics

A/C Schematic
Air cooled Condenser schematic

Its that time of year again when we are starting to get things ready for summer, here are a few tips to get your airconditioning up and running for the summer.

Don't start it up to early, of course, you won't be needing it when there is still snow on the ground, but it needs to be at least 16 degrees out for 24hrs at the very least before you turn it on for the first time. Also if your one of the ones that shut power off for the winter, using a breaker or exterior disconnect, you should make sure the unit is powered for 24hrs before you use it for the first time. This will allow time for the oil to warm up before use.

Don't test when its cold outside
Don't test when its cold

Make sure your exterior condenser unit has good clearance around and above it. Most of the units you will find need lots of airflow to properly cool.

Air conditioning clearance
Air conditioning clearance

Keeping it level and secured

Take a look each year to make sure it's level and secure, you don't want it sliding around or falling off its supports. if it's too far out of level the oil inside can damage the compressor. the compressor is one of the most expensive parts to repair or replace.

Keep the unit level and secured
Keep the unit level and secured

Keep it clean

A dirty condenser unit will have to work harder, run longer, and branches stuck inside can damage the fan and compressor, a simple service or if your handy cleaning of the coils will go a long way. Make sure your dryer exhaust is not located next to your air condition unit, dryer lint will clog up the coils very fast.

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