We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What to Do Before Turning on Your AC for Spring

An HVAC unit sits outside of a home.

Spring is finally here, and depending on where you live, temperatures might start to heat up quickly! You might have already experienced a few warm days this year where you were tempted to turn on your air conditioning. Those days are going to become more frequent as summer approaches.

But, if you haven’t turned on your air conditioning since last year, there could be a few steps to take before you start to feel that familiar breeze again. LifeSavvy spoke with Traci Fournier, Vice President of Operations at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning about what to do before turning your AC on for spring to avoid any unforeseen issues.

Perform a Visual Inspection

Before turning on your A/C unit for the first time, Fournier suggests stepping outside and giving it a once-over. The fall and winter seasons can be harsh in certain parts of the country, and your air conditioner could have a build-up of debris, including sticks and leaves.

Clean up around your unit, removing any debris from the immediate area. This is also a good time to check for any cracks or general wear and tear. When your unit is outside facing all kinds of weather, it’s not uncommon to see signs of weathering.

If you do see any cracks or other wear and tear issues, it’s best to call a professional to fix the problem.


Perfect for pesky leaves and twigs.

Hire a Professional for Routine Maintenance

A repair person works on an HVAC.
Neil Lockhart/Shutterstock.com

Perhaps the best thing you can do for your air conditioning unit is to conduct routine maintenance each year before it’s turned on.

According to Fournier, routine maintenance will help you discover if there are any issues with your air conditioning. By bringing in a professional to inspect your system, you can prolong its lifespan and increase efficiency when the weather does warm up.

After you schedule your appointment and your professional arrives, they will clean dirty coils, unclog condensate drains, and check on other potential interior issues like frayed wires.They will also examine coolant lines and ensure that all system controls are working properly.

While it’s important to ask questions and know the basics of how your system works, those tasks aren’t something you should tackle on your own. Not only could you damage the unit, but you could end up putting your safety at risk.

Do your part to keep yourself (and your family) safe and to extend the life of your A/C unit by researching local HVAC specialists in your area and giving the most trusted name a call.

Covermates Air Conditioner Cover

Protecting your unit in the winter will make it easier to maintain when warmer weather finally hits.

Change the Air Filter

If you have a central air conditioning unit, changing the air filter once a year is a great way to keep it running efficiently while improving the air quality in your home by eliminating airborne irritants and allergens. They also keep debris out of your HVAC system that could eventually pollute your indoor air. You might even consider changing it more frequently if you have pets in the home or if you live with someone who has respiratory issues.

First, take off the cover grille and wipe it clean. It’s easy for dust and debris to stick to the slats, but you can easily wipe that away by wrapping the tip of a flathead screwdriver or butterknife with a microfiber cloth and gently wiping the dirt away.

Remove your old filter and insert a new, clean one in the right direction before closing the grille and hooking the latch. Again, if you’re not comfortable changing the filter yourself, it’s something an HVAC professional is happy to do, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing it’s done correctly.

Filtrete 24x24x1, AC Furnace Air Filter

Keep your air clean and cool!

Inspect Air Vents

Man near an air vent

While you’re inside changing your filter, take the time to explore and inspect all of your air vents. If any of your vents are blocked, it could inhibit airflow. Not only will that reduce the efficiency of your unit, but you’ll essentially be wasting energy—and your utility bill will likely show that.

Things like toys, pieces of furniture, decorative items, or even long curtains could block vents and make it difficult for air to flow efficiently throughout the home. Thankfully, by checking all of the vents, getting these items out of the way is a quick and easy fix that will ensure your home gets cooled as effectively and efficiently as possible.

EZ-FLO 10 x 6 Inch (Duct Opening)

Enjoy the breeze with a clean vent.

As temperatures start to rise, you might want to turn on the air conditioner soon. If you haven’t cleaned up around your unit, changed your filter, and called a professional to inspect your system, now is the time.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on one thing: making your life outside of work even better. Want to know more?