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Here's what you need to know before you turn on your air conditioning

Similar to your furnace, there are some routine maintenance checks you should do for your air conditioner. We spoke to an expert for tips.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you haven't already, you're probably thinking about turning your air conditioner on as temperatures continue to soar this week.

Similar to your furnace, there are some routine maintenance checks you should do for your air conditioner. Grant Grilo, service manager at Grapids Heating and Cooling, says it starts with your filter.

"Number one thing is airflow," said Grilo. "You want to make sure that this air filter is nice and clean and clear. Manufacturers of filters will say up to three months or whatever they're recommending. That's optimal conditions. And you know, we obviously don't live in optimal conditions."

Grilo says it is important to change and/or check your air filter at least once a month. Additionally, he says a dirty air filter can restrict airflow and drop the efficiency of the unit.

You should also look at which way the arrow is pointing on the filter, says Grilo. He says arrows should always point to the unit. 

After checking the air filter, there's another part of the unit you'd like to look at. Grilo says you should make sure the evaporator coil is working properly on your unit. He says it creates lots of condensation and if it gets clogged, then the water will back up. The excess water is going to overflow and go down to your pan. On the unit, there's usually a wet switch that will kill the system if it detects water.

Grilo says don't forget to check on your outside unit too. However, he says it is important to allow a professional to clean it because it can easily be damaged if not cleaned correctly.

"(The) outside unit is just as important for airflow," Grilo said. "It's all about the air going across the coil and then being rejected off the top. So, you want to make sure all these fins inside of this cage are nice and clean."

Here are some tips on how to keep your A/C healthy in the summer via Progressive:

  • Schedule annual maintenance checks with a pro. 
  • Clean and change your filters regularly. 
  • Make sure the area surrounding an outdoor unit is clear. 
  • Avoid opening and closing your doors and windows too much. 
  • Seal any openings that may let cold air escape.

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