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With the hot weather on the way and many Americans spending more time in doors than they normally might at this time of year, ensuring that your air conditioning unit is functional should be a top priority.

Temperatures might be balmy now, but when that first hot weekend of the year comes, you’ll want to make sure you’re AC is there to keep you and your family cool and refreshed.

Depending on the style of air conditioning system you have, your system could go months without seeing use, which is why it’s important to do a thorough check to make sure they’re ready to go before the heat waves hit. Here is a list of the most important things to cover, as well as some pointers on what work you can handle yourself, and what will require service from an HVAC professional.

1. Check the Breaker

Air conditioning uses up quite a lot of power, and one of the most common problems homeowners have with their AC is that it overwhelms the breaker. The first thing you should check before getting your AC up and running for the year is whether the breaker is in the right position.

2. Inspect Air Filters

Another aspect of routine AC maintenance involves the air filters. If you didn’t replace your filter in the fall, it may still be clogged up with dust and dirt from last year.

Replacing any worn filters before you start using your air conditioning system is essential if you want to keep your unit operating in good condition throughout the summer. Dirty filters can decrease air quality, and also put greater strain on the functioning of the overall system.

3. Monitor Air Flow

As they start using their air conditioning in the early summer, many homeowners may find that their systems are not providing enough relief. The air may not be cold enough, or the air flow may not be sufficiently strong to actually bring the temperature in the house down.

If you notice that air flow is weaker than it should be, or if you notice  a sharp, unexplained decrease in flow, then you might need to call an HVAC specialist for emergency AC repair — clogs or blockages in the ducts might be impeding overall air flow and decreasing the air quality throughout your home.

4. Look Out for Water Leaks

Air conditioning units use refrigerants to cool the air before circulating it, and this can often cause condensation in places where the cool air encounters warm air. But this moisture shouldn’t accumulate to such an extent that you get actual pooling or leaking.

If you are noticing water leaks coming from your unit, or are finding water damage that might be associated with your air conditioning system, then you should get in touch with an AC repair company immediately. While these issues can be fixed at home with the right equipment and know-how, if you aren’t confident in your repair abilities you should get professional service.

If this summer is anything like summer 2019, there is hot weather in store for Americans across the Midwest. Making sure your AC unit is in perfect working condition before temperatures start to seriously rise is the best way to ensure that you’ll spend the coming months in comfort.