Turning on your air conditioner before you really need it is one of the best strategies to prepare your home for the hot summer months ahead.  Starting up your air conditioning early will save you time and money on potential service calls during the busy summer months and can even save you money on your summer utility bills if you start your air conditioner properly.  Energy.gov claims, “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.”

Spending a little bit of extra time to ensure that you turn your air conditioner on right the first time will help you avoid longer lines for service on the hottest day of the year.  HVAC companies often receive a large number of service calls the first hot day of the season because people often forget about their air conditioner until they really need it to work.  Save yourself from the heat by starting yours now to make sure you don’t have any problems early.

Follow the steps below to set yourself up for a cool summer.  Always perform these steps with your air conditioning breaker switch set to “Off.”

  • Uncover your air conditioning unit and remove all dust, dirt and debris inside and around the unit.  Make sure to remove the grill that covers the condenser fan and clean the blades and remove anything blocking airflow to the fan.
  • Replace or clean the filter in your HVAC unit.
  • Set your indoor breaker to the “On” position and note that it stays on.  If it breaks before the unit is turned on, there may be a short in your electrical
  • system.  Call a qualified electrician to check into the problem.
  • Set your thermostat to “Cool” and adjust the temperature down.  Make sure that the outdoor air conditioner unit is running and that the furnace fan is working.
  • Check the refrigerant lines on the outdoor unit for frost.  If you see that your lines are freezing up, turn off your system and contact a qualified air conditioning technician.

http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/maintaining-your-air-conditioner
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/before-turning-central-air-first-time-69714.html