As the weather cools off over the last two weeks of summer, you are probably using your air conditioner less and less. Fall is quickly approaching, which means you can enjoy cooler days and nights, hot beverages at night and leaves on trees changing color. Just as with anything else you use often, you should take the time to properly maintain your air conditioning unit as the seasons change. This will ensure that it is in tip-top working condition when you need to use it again next year.
Change the Air Filter
One of the easiest things you can do to properly maintain your air conditioning unit at the end of summer is to change its air filter. This can improve the quality of the air coming out of the system and extend the life of the air conditioner as well. When the air filter is old and constantly reused, it makes the unit work that much harder, which puts a strain on the system.
Clean the Unit
Over time, dirt and debris clutter up your AC unit. Vacuum out the unit itself, the vents and ducts to clear it of all the debris that has built up throughout the summer. It’s fairly easy to do this type of cleaning yourself. It can help the unit run more efficiently and save you money in the long run.
Clean the Area Around Outdoor Units
If you have an outdoor air conditioner, you should clean the area around the unit outdoors. This is even more important if your unit is in a neglected part of your yard. There may be tall weeds or other plants growing around the unit, which can hamper its performance. Check the coils and clean them with warm water if they appear dusty or full of debris.
Check for Unusual Sounds, Sights and Smells
Be aware of anything unusual in terms of sounds, smells and how your air conditioner looks. If there is condensation on the unit or a leak around the tubing, you will need AC service. If there is an odd smell, it can be a sign of mildew developing as a result of an unseen leak inside the unit. Not having this problem tackled at the end of summer will only make it worse by the next year when you’re ready to use your AC again. Odd sounds like rattling are other signs that you need AC service.
Inspect Coil Fins
Your AC unit’s coil fins can become damaged or misshapen. It’s a good idea to periodically check them and use a fin comb to straighten them out on the condenser and evaporator. If they seem to be broken, contact a professional AC service person to make repairs.
When you have all of these things taken care of at the end of the summer, your air conditioner will be in optimal working condition so that you can stay cool and comfortable in the next year. It will also help you to save money and avoid costly repairs for years to come.