As summer draws to a close, most homeowners tend to focus on the condition of their heating systems as they prepare for winter weather. However, there’s some end-of-the-season maintenance your air conditioner needs as well. This care and attention paid to your AC now will better prepare you for the following year. As you slowly start to say goodbye to the hot summer air, here’s a short list of end-of-season maintenance tips for your AC.
How to Prepare Your AC for Winter
1. Check the Condenser Coils
The condenser is the outside portion of your cooling system. Its cooling coils must be kept clear and clean in order for your air conditioner to run efficiently. The condenser cools and condenses the refrigerant which results in the transfer of excess heat inside the home to the outside air. After a season of work, the condenser’s coils can become plugged with dust, dirt and plant debris. Clean off any debris, dust, or dirt with a water wash so that it doesn’t hold moisture while the AC is idle during the fall and winter. To get the best coil cleaning results, the coils should be flushed from the inside out. This requires partial disassembly of the condenser, so you may want to have a professional do it for you.
2. Replace (or Clean) the Filter
An air conditioner is primarily designed for cooling a home, but it also provides clean, filtered air. By the end of the summer, the AC’s filter is likely to be filled with dust, allergens, and other airborne particles. In most homes, your air conditioner works in concert with your furnace by using its blower and filter system to move cooled air throughout your home. So, be sure to remain on a regular furnace filter replacement schedule during both the cooling and heating seasons. Other systems, such as ductless cooling systems and window air conditioners, have their own filters that will need to be serviced. While most furnaces and air conditioners use replaceable, throw-away filters, some, such as ductless systems, use washable filters. If you are not sure which kind of filter you have or which one needs to be changed, contact your preferred HVAC contractor to get some expert help.
3. Look at the Thermostat
The thermostat is an often ignored component of many cooling systems. In general, thermostats are wall-mounted in a central location within a home, but most ductless systems use a battery-powered, remote, thermostat resembling a TV remote. Obviously, without a properly functioning thermostat, your AC system will not operate correctly. Check to see that it’s properly configured to control your air conditioner, and, if it also controls your heating system, that it is communicating with that part of your HVAC system, too. Also, put fresh batteries in your remote thermostat … once you find it buried in the couch cushions. Some wall-mounted thermostats also use batteries which may need replacing, too. Thermostats don’t last forever, so be sure to check this part of your cooling and heating system, and, if it is an old thermostat, you might consider replacing it with an upgraded one before it finally fails. If you find your thermostat to be inoperable or acting flaky, replacement by a certified HVAC technician may be your best move.
When it comes to essential AC maintenance, trust our team at Jon’s Plumbing & Heating. Our Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractors™ has proudly served homeowners throughout Mount Vernon, OH, since 1998. We are state-licensed and strive to offer the best customer service possible. Our preventive maintenance program provides discounts, priority scheduling, and extended warranties. Learn more about our capabilities by calling (740) 392-5667 to schedule an appointment at your home.