It always seems that summer is too short, and the end of summer brings preparation for the winter. As you wind down your summer, don’t forget to wrap up your air conditioner’s use with these important maintenance tips.
Clean Up Debris Around Your Compressor
You’ll likely find yourself working around your yard to wind down the summer. As you do, be sure to clear out any debris from around your condensing unit. It’s common for grass and weeds to grow up along the unit or for grass clippings to get caught in the housing.
Anything within about 12 inches of your unit may inhibit proper airflow, resulting in reduced AC performance. Clearing the debris now helps not only with better performance this year, but it also sets you up for a clean start next summer.
Check for Storm Damage
Storms have a way of picking up debris and causing damage to the condensing coil. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover storm-related damage, but you may need to claim it quickly.
Check for obvious signs like cracked or dented housing. Also check for damaged fins on the condensing coil or debris caught in the fan assembly. If you find any indications of damage, call your technician for a thorough inspection with a quote so that you can contact your insurance company.
Listen for New Noises
Your system will naturally start making noise as it ages. However, each of these noises means something and can be corrected when you pay attention to it.
Take a few minutes to really listen to your system, both inside and outside. If you hear any new noises, especially loud ones, call for an inspection. Even if you decide not to fix the problem right now, you can make a plan for resolving the issue before next summer.
Inspect Your Air Filter
Your air filters keep your system clean and running efficiently. However, they also require regular attention so they can pass air freely.
When you look at your filter, check to make sure there isn’t a lot of dirt collected on the surface. If you find substantial buildup, replace your filter. If there’s only a little on the surface, gently vacuum it off to help improve efficiency until it’s time for a replacement.
Plan to replace your filter before you ignite your furnace for the first time this winter. Keep in mind that most one-inch filters should be changed about every 90 days.
Pay Attention to Air Volume and Temperature
Both your air conditioning and heat depend on your system’s ability to circulate air. Therefore, low air volume from your vents poses a problem not only for staying cool but for staying safe over the winter.
Simply stand in front of your floor vents and observe how much air is coming from it while your system runs. Does it feel like there is as much as normal, or does it feel like there is hardly anything coming out? Reduced airflow indicates a restriction and should be resolved to maintain your system’s efficiency. Resolving the issue also helps avoid damage from strain.
Check the temperature of the air. Does it feel as cool as it normally does, or is it warmer and muggier? Warmer air may indicate any number of problems, most of which will cause further damage if not resolved.
Ensure Your Maintenance Is Current
To keep your system operating at its designed efficiency, it must receive regular maintenance. If you have not had maintenance this year, consider having it done before the fall maintenance season kicks off.
While maintenance now won’t change inefficiency earlier in the season, it’s still important to do. First, it will validate your warranty if your unit is still covered. Second, it may uncover problems that will continue to strain your system. You can choose to solve those problems now or make a plan for solving them in the spring.
Check Your Drip Pan and Condensate Drain
Moisture from the air condenses as it moves over the evaporator coil. This drips down onto the pan under your unit and eventually drains out.
Check your pan to see if there is standing water, which would indicate a clogged condensate drain. Be sure this drain is still working properly before the colder weather descends. A clogged drain will prevent both your AC and furnace from starting and running normally.
Denver residents have depended on Coffman & Company in Wheat Ridge, CO, to stay cool and comfortable for over 35 years. Our NATE-certified technicians provide the highest-quality heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repairs. Call to schedule your AC service with one of our friendly and trusted technicians today. We offer plumbing services, too.