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When Should You Turn On Your Air Conditioner?

How to Get Your AC Ready for a Minnesota Summer 

When spring-like weather begins to peek its head out – still sandwiched between chilly days – it may seem like we’ve got a lot of time before our steamy summer hits. But as Minnesotans know, our state can feel like we are living in completely different climates in a matter of days – frigid and frosty one minute to hot and humid the next. That can leave you wondering how to keep your home comfortable, and questioning when you should turn on your air conditioner. The answer is when you have three elements aligned: the proper temperature outside, a clean unit, and a clean bill of health from a

Nice Weather We’re Having!

To save money, it may be tempting to wait until it gets really hot out to turn on your air conditioning unit, but experts say don’t wait.

“Your AC unit should be fired up on the first 70 degree day to make sure it runs properly before the hot weather hits,” says Keith Hill, manager, technical support, for Minnesota Air.

If there is an issue with your unit, turning it on and checking it out early means you can get it fixed right away on a 70 degree day when you won’t actually need it to cool your home.

“Don’t wait until the first 90 degree day and then suffer while you wait for a tech to show up,” says Keith.  

A Little Spring Cleaning

Before you even turn on the unit, you’ll need to make sure it’s clean.

  • Replace or clean your filters (yes, even in the summer)!
  • Take the cover off the outside unit if you’ve covered it for the winter. This allows proper airflow, and will help prevent your compressor from overheating.
  • Clean up leaves, dirt and debris around the outdoor unit.
  • Clean the coil and condensate drain.
  • Gently spray the outside unit with a hose, enough to remove the dirt, but not so hard that it wrecks your unit or creates a muddy mess.

You want to make sure you get the AC in top working order before you turn it on. That way you can rule out cleanliness as a contributing factor if you find its not working as well.

Professional Check-Up

So, you ‘ve done your cleaning, waited for a nice 70-degree day, and are ready to turn on your air conditioner. But when you do, you notice something just isn’t right.

Maybe it doesn’t sound the same inside or outside the house when it’s running? Perhaps it’s not cooling like in years past, but feels like it’s just blowing air around? Whatever the issue, it’s a good idea to call an HVAC expert to check it out. It may just need a simple repair, and if left unchecked, could lead to a more costly replacement.

Even if you find that your unit is working fine, if you know it’s been a while since your last tune-up with an HVAC professional, spring is a wonderful time to get one!


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