Many homeowners don’t think about their air conditioner until it’s in use and not performing as expected. However, putting effort into winterizing your unit can ensure a more comfortable and affordable summer next year. Utilize the tips below, now, to ensure your system is ready when the heat returns.
Why Invest in Fall Air Conditioner Maintenance?
The summer months are busy for HVAC contractors. Therefore, scheduling an appointment now means you can take care of any necessary repairs or maintenance needs in advance. As a result, you are less likely to turn on the system next year and realize that it is not working or to experience a midsummer breakdown.
Servicing your system also ensures it works as efficiently as possible, so you can save money on your utility bills right off the bat next Spring.
What Does Getting Your System Ready Involve?
An HVAC contractor will complete a range of maintenance tasks to help keep your system in top condition. Dirty air filters cause air conditioners to strain and work harder to keep rooms cool. This can lead to inefficient cooling, lower air quality, and short cycling. A contractor can easily replace the filter and demonstrate how you can do it yourself.
They will also clean the area around your outdoor condenser so that airflow is not blocked by debris and plant matter. A minimum of 18″ to 24″ of clearance around the entire unit will ensure the system has sufficient airflow during operation.
If the technician’s diagnostic tests reveal any broken or worn parts that need replacement, they will have plenty of time to order and install them before the heat hits next year.
As a homeowner, there are also steps you can take yourself. For example, cut off power to the air conditioner during the cold months so that it doesn’t accidentally turn on during warmer weather. This can be done via the circuit breaker in your home’s electrical panel or the disconnect switch installed near the outside unit. If you have trouble figuring out which one to use, ask your technician to help you locate it.
Lastly, many people like to cover the outside unit (called the condenser) with a plastic cover that fully encloses the system. This is actually one of the worst things you can do to your condenser. A plastic cover causes moisture to build up within the system, thereby encouraging mold and mildew growth and greatly increasing the chance of rust and corrosion. Additionally, it creates an environment that rodents (mice, rats) love, and you may find nests and expensive wiring damage come spring.
However, there are some advantages to partially covering your condenser if you follow these guidelines:
To protect against leaves and other debris from accumulating within the condenser, use a cover made of breathable fabric and ensure that it only comes down the sides about 6 inches.To protect against heavy snow and ice damage, you can lay a piece of plywood on top and weigh it down with stones or bricks to keep it in place over the winter.
While we can expect modern air conditioning systems to last about 12 to15 years, regular maintenance will keep your system running at peak efficiency and help ensure that you get the longest life out of it. Keep your home comfy all year long with help from the certified professionals at Jon’s Plumbing & Heating in Mount Vernon, OH. We understand the importance of a dependable air conditioner during the warmer months and a reliable heating system during the cold seasons. Our Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractors™ will change air filters, clean your system, and inspect, tighten, and lubricate parts to ensure smoother operation. Call (740) 392-5667 to schedule a maintenance appointment today. Before you do, go online to view our current special offers.