The temperatures are warm. The trees are budding out and greening up. School kids are wiggly in class, thinking more about spring break than Algebra. Everything points to the hope that winter is over. Then again, this time last year we had snow on the ground in Lubbock. This is West Texas. Anything can happen.

Hopefully the only snow we’ll see will be on TV. That means the temperatures are only going up from here. Is your air conditioning system ready? When you flip the switch from “heat” to “cool” will your equipment respond?

Here’s some tips to help you get your system ready for spring:

On the outside, wash down your external unit. With a garden hose, spray off the dust and dirt the winter left behind. Inside the protective shell is your condenser unit and cooling fan. Spray them off. Visually inspect your unit and clear away any grass, weeds and debris close to the box. Your system needs to “breathe” so unobstructed airflow is important.

Do a walk around the house. Look for any cracks or openings around windows and door jams. If you find any, seal them up with expanding foam. Or if the caulking around your windows is dried out and cracking, replace it with fresh caulk. Up to 30% of energy loss in homes is through windows and doors.

On the inside, change your filter! We talk about this all the time because it is the lowest cost, highest return maintenance you can do for your cooling/heating system. The filter is your first line of defense against dust and debris invading your equipment. Keep in mind, there is a range of filters. The cheapest filters aren’t worth buying because they don’t stop enough dirt. The most expensive ones aren’t the ones to buy, either, as those filters can actually make your system work too hard, creating a higher energy cost. The middle of the road, pleated filters are best. For about $5 a month (you should change your filter once a month) you can be very kind to your system.

Go up in your attic and check the insulation level. A perfectly working cooling system won’t be much good if all your cool air literally disappears through your roof. Proper insulation keeps the cool air inside where it belongs. If it’s blown in cellulose insulation you should have a minimum of 10”.

Most important, schedule a system inspection with a professional air conditioning company. From personal experience, I can tell you it’s worth it. Professional air conditioning technicians will inspect every part of your system. They’ll see parts that are close to wearing out or breaking down. When I lived in Phoenix I ran my air conditioner at least 7 months out of the year. I’d gone about two years with no problems. Not wanting to spend any money on a system that was working just fine, I saw a coupon in the paper for a “preseason check-up”. I called and scheduled the appointment. It was a good thing I did. The technician found a part that was on the verge of falling apart. For $50 I was able to avoid a chain reaction problem that would have easily cost me $350, not to mention sweating it out in 100+ degree heat waiting for a technician to fix it.

The pros at Sinclair are taking appointments for preseason air conditioning inspections. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to make sure your system is ready to help you keep your cool! 806-749-COOL (2665)

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