The arrival of spring is a transition time to warmer weather. Along with spring cleaning chores, you should make sure your AC unit is ready to keep you and your family cool and comfortable on those hot days ahead. Let this checklist of 7 items be your guide.

1. Clean Your AC Unit

The component of your AC unit that’s outdoors is the condenser unit. When checking for your spring lawn needs, make it a priority to clear away any old leaves, tall grass, plants, winter debris, or litter. The condenser can’t function properly without adequate airflow. Check the condition of your conditioner throughout the season to ensure there are two feet or more of clear space on all sides.

2. Clean the Vents and Registers

Over the winter, dust, and debris have no doubt collected on indoor vents and registers. If pets live in your household, pet dander will have also accumulated. Left unattended, those clogged airways will block the airflow. This could spell trouble for your AC unit. It will have to work harder to cool your home. Avoid the problem by cleaning the areas with a soft brush or vacuum.

3. Check and Seal Air Leaks

Your AC unit will run more efficiently and use less energy if your home is insulated and sealed for air leaks. Seal any gaps around doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping to keep cool air from leaking out. Your AC unit will last longer and you will save money on energy costs for the summer.

4. Inspect Condensation and Refrigerant Line

The small line that drips moisture coming from your AC unit is the condensation line. It should be inspected to make sure it’s working properly. If it isn’t, your home may experience damage, and your energy bills will be higher.

Check the unit’s refrigerant lines for damage or leaks. If you see a buildup of ice on the lines, you probably have a refrigerant problem. Have a professional take care of the issue before your unit becomes extensively damaged.

5. Change Filters Regularly

Your AC unit’s filters work hard to remove airborne particles such as dust, pet dander, and pollen as air circulates through it and your home. It’s critical to change disposable filters every 30 days. Writing the date on these types of filters will help you keep up with the task. Vacuum the screen on reusable filters and rinse them clean.

6. Adjust Your Thermostat

At night, on cooler days, or when you leave home, it makes sense to adjust your thermostat a few degrees. A 7 to 10-degree adjustment can increase your AC unit’s energy efficiency. This will be much easier if you install one of the new programmable Wi-Fi thermostats. Ask your HVAC professional about them.

7. Schedule Preventative Maintenance

DIY is a good thing, but when it comes to your AC unit, it’s best to schedule preventative maintenance with an HVAC professional in your area. Professionals are trained to catch any problems before your system breaks down and leaves you uncomfortable on a hot day. Remember, when summer is in full swing, it will take longer to schedule a repair.