Prepping Your AC for High Usage: Tips for Warm Months

As we shake off the chill of winter and look forward to the warmer months ahead, many of us start thinking about how to stay cool and comfortable in our homes. One critical factor in achieving this comfort is ensuring that our air conditioning units are in tip-top shape and ready to handle the increased demand that comes with rising temperatures.

At Jacobs and Rhodes, we understand the importance of a well-maintained AC unit not only for comfort but also for energy efficiency and longevity. Here are our expert tips for getting your air conditioner ready for the warmer months.

Understanding the Importance of AC Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your air conditioner is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps your unit run more efficiently, which can lead to lower energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

Second, it can significantly extend the lifespan of your unit, saving you money in the long run-on early replacement costs.

Lastly, a well-maintained AC unit will perform better, ensuring your home remains cool and comfortable throughout the hot months.

Starting with a Clean Slate

One of the first steps in preparing your AC unit for high usage is to give it a thorough cleaning. Over the fall and winter months, it’s common for dust, leaves, and other debris to accumulate around the outdoor unit. This can obstruct airflow and reduce efficiency. Here’s how to clean your unit effectively:

  1. Turn off the power to the unit to ensure your safety.
  2. Remove any debris around the unit. This includes trimming any plants or shrubs that might obstruct airflow.
  3. Clean the fins using a soft brush or a garden hose. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fins.\
  4. Check and clean the evaporator coil if accessible, using a coil cleaner.

Checking and Changing the Air Filter

One of the easiest yet most overlooked aspects of AC maintenance is checking and changing the air filter.

A dirty filter can significantly reduce your unit’s efficiency and effectiveness by restricting airflow. During the high-usage months, it’s advisable to check your filter monthly and replace it as needed.

This simple step can make a big difference in your AC unit’s performance.

Scheduling Professional Maintenance

While there are several tasks you can perform yourself to get your AC unit ready for summer, some things are best left to the professionals. A comprehensive check by a qualified technician can catch issues that you might miss. During a professional maintenance visit, the technician will:

  • Inspect the refrigerant levels and check for leaks.
  • Test the thermostat to ensure it’s working correctly and efficiently.
  • Inspect electrical connections and tighten them if necessary.
  • Lubricate moving parts to reduce friction and wear.
  • Check the condensate drain to ensure it’s not clogged.

Scheduling this service before the peak of the summer season can help prevent breakdowns during the hottest days when you need your AC the most.

Upgrading Your Thermostat

If you’re still using an old, manual thermostat, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can learn your schedule and preferences, adjusting your home’s temperature automatically to save energy while keeping you comfortable. They also allow you to control your AC remotely via your smartphone, which is convenient for managing your home’s climate on the go.

Sealing Leaks and Insulating

Ensuring that your home is well-sealed and insulated can significantly impact your air conditioner’s efficiency. Check windows and doors for drafts and seal any leaks with weather stripping or caulk. Additionally, consider adding insulation to attics, basements, and other areas prone to heat gain or loss. These steps can help keep the cool air in and the hot air out, reducing the workload on your AC unit.

Preparing for the Unexpected

Despite your best efforts, AC units can sometimes fail. It’s a good idea to have a contingency plan in place. Know who to call for repairs and consider investing in a home warranty or service plan that covers your air conditioning system. This can give you peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re covered.


Preparing your air conditioner for the warmer months is a crucial step in ensuring your home stays comfortable and your energy bills stay manageable. By following these tips from Jacobs and Rhodes, you can enjoy a cool, comfortable home all summer long.

Remember, regular maintenance not only improves efficiency and comfort but also extends the lifespan of your AC unit, making it a wise investment in your home and your comfort. Get ready to beat the heat with a well-prepared air conditioner!