Your air conditioner served you well all summer, and depending where you live, perhaps even through much of the fall as well. But now, the temperature outside is starting to fall and you might find yourself using your A/C less and less or even putting it into storage until the spring. If this sounds like your situation, here are some air conditioning maintenance tips to keep in mind in order to ensure your A/C is prepared to go into hibernation for the winter.
Wipe It Down, Clear It Away
Your air conditioner likely accumulated some dirt and debris within the unit during the months it was in operation. This could be especially true if you have a central air unit located outside the house. You don't want to let dirt and debris linger all winter and wait until the spring to clean it out. Letting the debris stick around may give it time to settle in and it'll be harder to clean later on. It could also decrease the overall lifespan of your unit. Open the unit and clean all fins and the coils and be sure to clear away any weeds or any other obstructions around the unit one last time before winter arrives.
Change the Filter and Clean the Air Ducts
You should be changing your air filter at least once per season or perhaps as often as once per month depending on use. But many homeowners simply don't follow this schedule even though they know they should. Your pre-winter cleanup is the perfect time to swap out the old filter so you don't have something dirty stuck inside the unit all winter long.
This might also be a good time to clean out your air ducts. Dirt or dust in your air ducts can make the air in your house more difficult to breathe, and if your cooling and heating systems share the same ducts, cleaning them out now will also make your winter heating go more smoothly.
Get a Professional Inspection
You should also be getting your entire HVAC system including the A/C inspected by a professional once or twice per year. The switch from the cooling season to the heating season is the perfect time to get someone to come in and make sure everything is as it should be. Your professional air conditioning maintenance expert may even be able to change the filter or clean those air ducts for you.