The cold days of winter are finally behind us, and it’s getting to be the time of year when we turn off our furnaces for good and switch to using our air conditioners. But the transition between using your heating and cooling systems is a bit more complicated than just pressing a button, and there are some things you should do to help bring your air conditioner back to life after the past months of inactivity. Today we’re going to help you do that by talking about how to get your air conditioner ready after winter!

Test your air conditioner while it’s still mild outside

Before we get into specifics, it’s important to mention that you should turn your air conditioner on sometime before it gets too hot outside. You don’t want to throw your air conditioner in the trenches for the first time of the year on a 90-degree day. Instead, test your system soon while it’s still not too hot outside so that it can get back into gear more gradually. This will allow you to catch and take care of any operational problems now instead of waiting until it’s hot outside and it’s harder to book an appointment for a repair because everyone else’s systems are breaking down. Also, don’t forget to schedule your annual air conditioner tune-up with Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning!

How to get your air conditioner ready after winter

  • Turn on the power to your unit. First and foremost, if you are turning on your air conditioner for the first time you want to make sure that it is receiving power. If you have power switches for your air conditioner at your circuit breaker and/or near your condenser unit, make sure that the switches are flipped to “on.”
  • If you used an air conditioner cover, remove it. We do not recommend using an air conditioner cover on your outdoor condenser unit for several reasons that you can read about here. If you did use a cover, however, you must remove it before turning on your system for the first time. Running your air conditioner with a cover on can lead to serious problems very quickly.
  • Clean your condenser unit. During the winter months, your outside condenser unit likely gathered dead leaves, twigs, dirt, and other debris. Make sure to remove any visible objects that have collected on or around the condenser unit. In addition, you might want to vacuum the outside of your condenser unit with an extension that uses a soft brush (being careful not to bend the fins). We’ll also give your system a thorough cleaning during your annual tune-up.
  • Take a look at your air filter. If you haven’t changed your air filter in a while, now is the time to do it. When you turn your system on for the first time, you don’t want to make it harder to run than it should be because of something easy to avoid like a dirty filter.
  • Clean the area around your indoor unit. This is the time of year for spring cleaning, and the area around your air conditioner’s indoor unit is one place that you don’t want to skip. Clean up the area and remove anything unnecessary that you might be stored there. It’s good to keep this area easily accessible for both you and your technician.
  • Change your thermostat settings. For your air conditioner to turn on, you have to switch your thermostat from “heat” to “cool” mode. In addition, this is a good time to plan out your summer thermostat settings and make any necessary updates to the settings that you have stored in your programmable thermostat.

If you have any questions about what to do with your air conditioner after winter, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis air conditioning contractor ( We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Ballwin, Chesterfield, and Clarkson Valley, MO.

photo credit: cdnphoto via photopin (license)

company icon