At the end of the summer season, you’re likely thinking about preparing your home for the upcoming cold winter months. However, it’s important to take some time to perform some maintenance on your air conditioning system. This will help to ensure that it’s ready for the stagnant winter season and will be ready to start up when springtime comes back around.
Pay Attention to Odd Noises and Smells
Before you start to perform any fall maintenance on your air conditioning system, it’s important that you take a moment to see how it’s running. It’s very easy for you not to realize that a low noise has developed in your system or that it’s giving off an odd smell. It’s human nature just to adapt to these changes if they happen slowly over time.
You’ll want to be listening to your air conditioning system and using your nose to detect any odd smells that may be coming from it. Some common noises you may hear are vibrating, humming, or clicking. Some unusual smells that you may notice are that of exhaust fumes, mildew, and garbage. If you notice any odd smells or noises, it’s essential to address these issues before wrapping your AC system up for the winter.
Clean Your Indoor Unit
If everything seems normal with your air conditioning unit, it’s time to move on to the cleaning phase. By cleaning the various components of your air conditioning system now, you can prevent that debris from coming up over the long winter months. You’ll want to start this phase by killing the power to your entire air conditioning system at your electrical panel.
Go ahead and remove the access panel to your indoor unit. Start by cleaning the evaporator coils. Due to the amount of stuck-on debris that these coils experience, it’s best to use a specialized coil cleaner. These typically come in a foaming agent where you spray it on and wait a specific period of time while it works to clean the coil’s surface.
Once the evaporator coils are cleaned off, it’s time to clean your drain and the drain pipe. Your main goal should be to remove any gunk that is blocking the drain. Mixing up a solution of bleach and water and pouring it down the drain can help to bust up any of that gunk and any hard water scaling.
Check Your Air Filter
While you’re still inside, you should pop out the air filter for your air conditioning system. You want to hold it up and see if you’re able to see through it. If you can, go ahead and put the filter back in as it still has some useful life left in it. If you can’t see through it, it’s time to replace it.
When it comes to replacement air filters, you have four main options. These are pleated, reusable, HEPA, and fiberglass. If you’re looking for a filter that has a fairly decent filtering ability and is still affordable, you’ll want to invest in the pleated filter. If you have allergies or multiple pets, it’s a good idea to invest in the HEPA filter. It can be more expensive, but it will do more filtering to enhance the air quality inside of your home.
Clean Your Vents
Your air conditioning system has ductwork that runs throughout your home and enters each room through a vent. Each room of your home should have two different vents, which are the supply vent for delivering cold air to the room and the return vent for pulling hot air out of the room. Over time, these vents can collect a lot of dust and debris.
You can use a wet cloth to wipe down the grates of each vent. If you’re able to pop the vent out of its position, it will be easier to clean. You can simply pop it out and spray it down without having to worry about getting any excess water on your walls. Just make sure that all of your vents are completely dry before you reinstall them. Otherwise, they could develop biological growth like mildew.
Clean Up Outside
Your air conditioning system will have an outside condenser unit that is responsible for dispersing the hot air from your home. Because it’s exposed to all the outdoor elements, it’s very common for the condenser unit to get loose debris blown up against it. Now is a good time to clear out the space around your condenser unit. Go ahead and spray off the cover and trim any shrubs or tree limbs that are within a couple of feet of the unit.
Clean Your Condenser Unit
Once you pop the cover off your condenser unit, you want to start by removing any big clumps of loose debris. Next, use your coil cleaning agent to clean off the condenser coils. Once the foaming agent has set for the recommended amount of time, get the hose out.
You want to spray out the entire condenser unit. Be careful to remove any debris that is stuck in the metal fins. Avoid using a pressure washer as the pressure that it creates will likely bend the fins in your system.
The last thing you need to do with your outdoor condenser unit is to straighten out any of the fins that have become bent. You can do this with a fin comb that is of the right size for your air conditioning system, or you can use a small pair of needle-nose pliers.
Check Your Wiring
As you’re cleaning out your indoor and outdoor units, it’s a good idea to look over the wiring. You specifically want to look for any wiring that is fraying, corroded, or loose. Make sure you tighten up any loose wires that you come across. You should be able to remove most of the corrosion from the wires. However, you may find that some of the wiring may need to be replaced. It’s best to call in a professional to take care of your wiring issues.
When the summer weather turns to breezy fall weather, it’s the perfect time to schedule a tune-up visit. You’re likely going to have a professional come in to take a look at your furnace to prepare it for the upcoming winter season. At the same time, you should have that professional evaluate your air conditioning system.
When a professional evaluates your air conditioning system, they’re looking for a number of different things. These include checking the condition of your belts, lubricating any moving parts, recharging your refrigerant levels, and much more. By having a professional look at your air conditioning system at the end of the summer season, they can alert you to any upcoming problems.
For example, if one of your fans is making a humming noise, it’s likely going to need to be replaced for the upcoming summer season. This gives you the added benefit of being able to save up money to repair your air conditioning system. It’s much easier to handle a repair problem when you know about it ahead of time instead of dealing with an unexpected expense when you need your air conditioning system the most.
Helpful AC Service Professional
Hansen Heating & Air is your helpful air conditioner service professional for the Mobile community. We’re also here to assist you with all of your heating, generator, and indoor air quality needs. Just give us a call today, and we’ll get a specialist on the way to you.