In recent weeks temperatures within Moose Jaw have been well above 20 C, which has meant that people have begun installing or turning on their air conditioner units to beat the heat.  

With the winter being as cold and long as it was, people may not know the shape of what their air conditioner is in and honestly could be a little intimidating.  

Jeremy Kerr with C & E Mechanical says that there are some very easy things people can check before firing it up this spring. 

“The most important part is to make sure your filters are changed often in the summertime. There’s a lot more dust in the summer than the winter so remembering to change your filters or checking them every month is important.” 

When changing or inspecting the filter Kerr recommends turning off the power to the unit at the breaker to prevent injury.  

Also, make sure when installing the new filter to aline the arrows in the correct direction of the airflow.  

“When you inspect your filter, you should also look around for water around your furnace. If you find water, that is a pretty good indication that something is wrong. The first thing is to check your drain line and make sure that’s not plugged,” adds Kerr. 

Another item that can be checked by the homeowner is the evaporator coil inside the furnace, which is used to absorb the heat from the air within your house.  

“To clean the evaporator coil you would use a soft bristled brush to clean off any hair or debris stuck on the underside of the coil. You can buy a no-rinse coil cleaner and spray it onto the bottom of the coil to clean it.” 

The no-rinse coil cleaner can be purchased through C & E Mechanical or at any home building supply store. 

One thing to mention when cleaning the coil is no chemical or water makes its way onto the furnace’s heat exchanger. Kerr suggests laying down a drop cloth or rag to prevent spillage.  

Inspecting and cleaning your drain pan underneath the evaporator coil is another item a homeowner can do.  

“It can build up with algae, which is the number one cause for the drain being clogged most of the time. Just rinse that out with hot and soapy water, I recommend that you start out with a small amount to ensure the drain isn’t plugged, so you don’t have a lot of water to clean up. Also, it is handy to have a Wet-Vac on hand.” 

If the drain line is plugged, it may be necessary to remove the connection on the outside of the furnace. In most instances, the piping is plastic so caution is to be used, as it could break very easily.  

For those outside units, another key thing is to remove any debris from around the area to allow air to move through the condensing coil. 

The same maintenance tips previously mentioned for interior units within your furnace apply to exterior ones.  

If any more issues arise that can’t be fixed by the homeowner, Kerr recommends calling a technician to resolve the problem.