Stay cool – and check out your AC before summer hits

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY — As the weather heats up, it’s wise to do some seasonal maintenance before flicking that AC switch:

Inspect the insulation sleeve on the refrigerant line to ensure that the elements and/or rodents have not worn it thin during the winter season. Lack of insulation can cause you to use refrigerant at an accelerated rate or build up frost on your lines, which can idle your system.

Check the top grill, side units and fan blades for rusted components or excessive vegetation and debris. Rust can cause fan blades to wobble and potentially damage your compressor. It’s cheaper to replace the blades than deal with the bill of a new compressor.

Ensure the mounting and bolts are secure. Seismic activity over time can loosen bolts, which can cause the unit to wobble off the foundation when in operation. I’ve seen this in the field.

Once the AC is up and running, check each room to ensure good air flow. Low flow could be due to an obstruction or leak in your air ducts, which will add up on your power bill.A little preventative maintenance can go a long way in keeping you cool this summer.

Scott Denslow is the owner of Safe at Home Inspection Service. He is an InterNACHI and ASHI certified inspector who has 59 five-star ratings on Yelp. Send your home inspection questions or topics you want to see covered to For more information, visit