Summer is at its official end, more or less. While we do, of course, experience very cold and snowy winters here, we could always be surprised by a fall or wintertime heat wave. This is part of the reason we can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure your air conditioner is well cared for!
Hopefully, you had maintenance done in the spring to ensure your AC was able to work as effectively and efficiently as possible throughout not only the summer, but its lifespan. Regardless of whether you had maintenance done or not, however, there are some things you can do to ensure your air conditioner is performing at its best and is ready to go next spring when you need it again on a regular basis. Read on as we uncover a few end-of-season AC care tips.
Change the Air Filter
Do you have a central air conditioner that shares ductwork with a furnace? Then this first tip is definitely for you.
Your HVAC air filter, despite popular belief, is not there to protect your indoor air quality but rather to protect the HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage the components.
You should change out this air filter every 1-3 months. This will vary a bit depending on what type of air filter you have and the level of contaminants in your home. Check the actual filter for more specifics!
If you didn’t change your filter at all this past summer season, it’s likely that it should be done now. A clean air filter will help keep your bills low and help your air conditioner perform better, whenever you need it.
Clean the Area Around the Outdoor Unit
Have you looked around the outside cabinet of your air conditioner recently? If you notice debris like leaves, branches, lawn mulch, etc. then you’re looking at material that can prohibit the necessary heat release from the unit, which will cause system efficiency to drop.
Even rocks and pebbles can create problems, so be sure to clear those away as well. By keeping this area clean and clear of debris, you can help prevent cooling system problems.
Check Your Thermostat
When temperatures are on the warmer side, we recommend keeping your thermostat set to 78°F. The right thermostat settings and control are vital to keeping your cooling bills down. No matter where you have it set though, if it is malfunctioning it will create problems. After all, the thermostat is the brain of your air conditioning system.
If you have a smart, battery powered thermostat, make sure the batteries are fresh. If you have a hardwired thermostat, make sure that the settings are correct and displaying as they should on the screen if you have a digital thermostat. This will help ensure not only your air conditioner works efficiently, but your heater too.