Your air conditioner is always there to keep you cool when the weather’s blistery hot outside… until it breaks down. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget about your air conditioner until it fails to turn on when expected. The good news is that you can avoid inconvenient breakdowns by keeping your air conditioner well-maintained. Here are a few things you should know about air conditioner maintenance and repairs.
During the winter, your air conditioner sits dormant for weeks or months at a time while your furnace kicks into high gear. It’s during this period of inactivity that problems are likely to occur. To understand this concept, think of your family vehicle. Overuse without proper maintenance can cause it to develop problems that require costly repairs, but underuse can do the same thing.
When a vehicle’s engine sits dormant for too long, it can take a lot of work to get it running properly again. The same is true for your air conditioner. It’s good to give it a break from the constant work it does in the summer, but it’s also important to properly maintain it throughout the winter. That way it’s more likely to work as expected when hot weather rolls back around.
Here are a few things you can do to maintain your air conditioner before and during the winter months.
Clean outdoor condenser
Check and clean coils and coil fins
Your AC air filters should ideally be changed every three months. It’s wise to change them right before winter sets in so you have fresh filters when you turn your unit on in the summer. If you have allergies or pets, your filters should be changed every 20-40 days. Dirty filters put additional stress on your AC system and can spread allergens and dirt throughout your home. Regularly changing your filters helps your unit operate more efficiently and can extend its life.
It’s easy to forget your outdoor condenser because it’s out of sight most of the time. However, it’s important to clean it off regularly, especially before the first snowfall covers it. Clear away any leaves, dirt and foliage from the unit and make sure there’s at least two feet separating it from everything around it.
Finally, check and clean your coils and coil fins at least once per year to keep them clean and working optimally. If the fins become bent, it’s important to schedule air conditioner repair services and have them fixed or replaced.
How To Prep Your Air Conditioner for Summer
Prepping your air conditioner for summer is a simple, but important task. Try these simple tips to ensure your air conditioning unit is ready for summer weather:
Check your filters
Clear away debris
Test the system
Even though you changed your filters before winter hit, it’s important to check them again before you start up your AC unit for the first time. You should also inspect the ductwork throughout your house to ensure nothing is obstructing proper airflow. If your ducts are clogged, dirty or show signs of mold growth, it’s time to hire professionals to clean out your entire duct system.
Next, clear away debris from your outdoor unit before turning on your AC system and testing it for the first time. Make sure there’s a healthy flow of cool air through all registers. If the air doesn’t feel cool, call an HVAC contractor to figure out what’s wrong.
You may want to follow these suggestions a few weeks before you actually need to use your AC Unit. That way you can schedule any necessary repairs before the weather gets unbearably hot.
Signs You Need Air Conditioner Repairs
Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your AC unit and minimize problems. However, even the best-maintained HVAC units eventually break down and require repairs. Here are a few signs you need to schedule air conditioner repair services right away:
- Hot or smelly air comes out
- Strange noises come from the AC unit
- Liquid leaks from the unit
- Air flow is weak
If you notice any of these signs, call us right away! They could be serious indications that your system needs immediate repairs or replacement. To schedule your service, call Advantage Air or fill out our online form today.