If you're like most people, you haven't given your air conditioner a second thought this past winter. Now that winter is almost over, it's time to start thinking about the AC again, especially if you want to cool things down as soon as the temperatures start to rise. Here are several things you need to do to make sure your air conditioner is ready once the warmer temperatures arrive. Consider having an air conditioning service come out to help you with these preparation tasks below.

Check for Rodent Activity

While you were inside your home keeping warm this winter, the local rodents were outside looking for a place to nest. If your air conditioner wasn't sealed up properly, those rodents could have chosen that location for their winter home. Unfortunately, during the long winter, rodents could have done a lot of damage to your air conditioner, including chewing through the electrical wires. Before you crank your air conditioner up for the first time, check for rodent activity. You'll want to remove any nesting material you find. You'll also want to have any rodent damage repaired immediately.

Get Rid of the Musty Odor

If you've been dealing with a particularly wet winter, you'll want to clean your air conditioner before you turn it on for the first time. You could have mold growing in the coils, which will leave you with a musty odor in your home if you don't take care of the problem. Get rid of the odor-causing mold before the weather gets much warmer. First, fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and bleach. Second, spray your coils with the solution and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Finally, use your garden hose to clean the coils. The water and bleach solution will remove any trace of mold from your coils and ensure that you avoid those musty odors when you use your air conditioner.

Flush the Drain Line

If you didn't flush the drain line before shutting your air conditioner down for the winter, you'll need to take care of that now. Drain lines can get clogged with all types of dirt and debris. Unfortunately, once the drain line is clogged, water can't flow through properly, which means it can back up into your home, causing considerable damage. To make sure that doesn't happen, flush the drain line with bleach and water. Start by pouring about a cup of ordinary bleach into the drain line. Let the bleach set for a few minutes before flushing the drain with at least one gallon of water.

Have the System Recharged

If you used your air conditioner on a daily basis last summer, the chances are good that your refrigerant needs to be recharged. Schedule an appointment with your HVAC technician to have them come out and check the levels. Charging your system before the warm weather hits will help ensure that your air conditioner is ready to go.