As we move steadily through spring and into summer, air conditioners everywhere are being turned on sometimes for the first time since the autumn cold took root. This is the perfect time for homeowners to have their systems checked before the summer heat means they're running harder with each passing day. Knowing the status of an cooling unit early could mean avoiding problems before they ruin a perfect summer day.

Don't let winter's cold force a hot summer on your home.

Air conditioners certainly aren't immune to the effects of the colder months. The sharp drop in temperature can freeze the lines and seals inside your cooling unit, turning them brittle and making cracks appear. These cracks might not show themselves until the middle of summer when leaking refrigerant can cause your compressor to overheat and fail entirely. However, those same faulty seals or hoses can be easily identified in a routine check, and the cost of their replacement is tremendously more affordable than a replacement compressor.

It's also a good idea to make sure the unit's motors are lubricated. Last summer's oil might have been spent or dried out over the course of the winter. Making sure the motors move effectively while operating will ensure that they won't wear down and potentially freeze up.

An efficient air conditioner means a cooler home at a savings.

Making sure that an air conditioning unit is in peak operating condition ensures that it won't have to work harder than necessary to cool a home. A neglected cooling unit draws more of a building's electricity to stay running. This could mean expensive electricity bills throughout summer which could have been offset with a thorough maintenance. Simple things like a dirty air filter or condenser coils can cause a substantial strain on the air conditioner, making it work harder still. These parts can be kept clean to ensure top performance, and even filters which can't be cleaned can be easily replaced. The cost of a new filter is only a modest one and will be paid back in energy savings during the summer.

Check your air conditioner early.

Once winter is over it's never too soon to check a cooling unit. A routine check up is a simple and inexpensive way of identifying any problems, stopping them before they happen and lead to a cool, pleasant summer.

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