You’re Almost Done With A/C Season — How to Care For the A/C at Summer’s End
Just like pulling out winter clothes or winterizing your car, homeowners should take care of the home air conditioner as summer ends and winter looms. Here are four important steps in your end-of-summer A/C maintenance to prepare it for winter.
- Clean your compressor unit. As the days become cooler, you’ll be using your air conditioner less. This is a good time to do a little outdoor A/C maintenance. Remove twigs and leaves that may have fallen on your outdoor unit. Trim back plants that have grown too close. These will block airflow necessary for cooling your compressor. Using a hose and never a power washer, wash your outside unit free of dirt and other debris.
- Listen to your compressor unit. While performing A/C maintenance, listen for odd noises that might be a signal that something’s wrong. Grinding, buzzing or clunking noises could be a sign that your A/C unit’s damaged. Get it fixed now so it’s ready for next summer.
- Change your air filter. As part of your end-of-summer air conditioner maintenance, replace the air filter. You should already be doing this regularly, but doing it now will make next summer’s start-up easier. Remember, a dirty filter decreases airflow and increases expense.
- Protect the air conditioner’s outside component from the elements. Do so with a specially-made cover that can be picked up at home improvement stores. The cover shouldn’t be too tight, as ventilation is necessary to prevent rust and rodent infestation. Another option is to cover the top of the outdoor unit with a piece of plywood to keep it clear of snow and ice all winter.