It’s time to turn on the air conditioner – here’s what to do

Check your air conditioning system each spring. Here are some basics.

Think about the parts of the system – refrigerant, condenser, fan blades and motor, thermostat, compressor, wiring, ductwork leaks.

For the fall and winter, don’t cover the unit completely, only the top needs to be covered to protect from debris falling into it. Moisture trapped in the unit will corrode the electronics. Covering the top and leaving room for air flow will keep the unit dry enough in the winter and fall.

Walk around the system, looking at the panels, pipes, lines and insulation for damage, cleaning out leaves, and removing obstructions like bushes, vegetation and stored items that can affect heat transfer.

Inspect the coil drain hose as it drips into a drainage tray below.

Clean the grills, vents and filters.

Don’t let it run if the air isn’t cool when you turn on the air conditioner because something is wrong.