When you have an air conditioner and summer is coming up, you should get it ready so that it will work properly throughout the hottest months of the year. Air conditioners can get dirty during the winter, and you’re going to be much happier with the peace of mind that comes from taking care of the air conditioner at your home in Northridge, CA. These are the most essential steps you should take when getting your air conditioner ready for the summer months.

Safety First

Knowing how to take care of your air conditioner involves knowing how to make sure that you’re safe throughout the entire time that you’ll be working on your unit. There are some simple and safe techniques that you can use, but you need to be aware of the potential of electrocution if you don’t remove the electricity from the situation. To make sure that electricity isn’t a factor in your safety, go to the breaker box and turn off the switch that controls the electricity to the air conditioner. You should also turn off the disconnect switch near the condenser coils. In addition, make sure that you alert anyone else living with you that they shouldn’t do anything with the electrical breakers; you’re going to be working on equipment.

Change the Filters

You might need to change the filters, or you might have a unit that allows you to clean the filters instead. Either way, you’ll want the filters to be clean so that you’re not recirculating dust and pollen. Having clean filters will also help your air conditioner run at peak performance. The exact intervals between changing the filters will depend on the model and your particular circumstances, but doing so at the beginning of the season is a good general rule of thumb every year.

Clean the Outside Unit

When you’re cleaning the outside unit, you’re going to need to pay special attention to the fan blades and condenser coils. If you’ve had a cover over the outside unit all winter, you probably won’t have much to clean off because the cover will keep out most dirt, leaves, twigs and other types of debris. But if you didn’t put a cover on, the first step in cleaning the unit is to remove any branches or twigs that you can easily dislodge with your hands.

There should be a grate on top that protects the fan where most of the twigs and leaves have collected on the top, but there might also be some dirt and debris that has fallen into the unit. With most units, you can lift the top off, exposing the fan and condenser coils. There are a couple of ways to remove dirt and other debris. If you have some loose dirt, you can simply take a shop vacuum and go into the air conditioning unit with the hand tools. However, if there’s a lot of dirt or actual mud that’s caked on certain parts of the unit, use a hose or a power sprayer set at a light setting to clear this away. It’s okay to use water because this equipment is made to withstand rain. Nevertheless, the air conditioning unit should never be submerged, which could short out the electrical components. You can also clean the fins around the condenser coils, but because they’re delicate, you should take care not to damage them. Finally, you should soak up any puddle left behind and let the unit dry before you turn it on.


When you’re ready to turn the air conditioner on for testing, you’ll need to go back and undo all of the safety measures that you put in place. The first step is to turn the thermostat to the off position inside the house. The next step is to turn the electrical breaker back on and turn the air conditioner’s disconnect switch to the open position. Finally, set the thermostat back to the cool position and check the registers to ensure that cool air is coming out of the vents at a reasonable rate.

When you’re looking for ways to keep your heating and cooling system working right, contact Kahn Air Conditioning in Northridge to learn more about how we can help. We do repairs, installations and maintenance of both air conditioners and furnaces, so we’re the right place to keep in mind all year round. We also handle indoor air quality issues, air purifiers, smart home systems and generators. Call us today.

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