Before you put your air conditioner to bed for the winter, it’s important to understand the advantages that come from end-of-season maintenance. This will ensure that the A/C is ready to go back to work next spring when it gets hot again.
Remove Dirt and Debris
You’ll first want to clean your air conditioner for fall. After disconnecting the power to your system, use a hose to rid the outside condensing unit of any caked-on dirt. Remove leaves, twigs and other debris from on and around the unit, as they can allow moisture to gain entry into the condenser/compressor.
Examine the Fins and Coils
Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, the accessible fins and coils of the evaporator inside the house should be cleaned of dirt or dust that has accumulated. Dirty fins and coils will impede the heat-exchange process that’s central to the air conditioning process, and eventually cause your A/C to break down..
Store Window Units Appropriately
Your window A/C units should be thoroughly covered or preferably removed from the window at the end of summer to avoid exposing the equipment to the winter weather. Once the unit is removed, use weatherstripping to seal air leaks around the window frame.
Drain the Unit’s Water Hoses
It’s inevitable that if you leave water in the hoses and pipes of your air conditioning unit, it will freeze when it gets cold enough. To avoid damaging your A/C, shut off the water valve to the unit after its last use of the summer. Also drain the pipes and hoses that hold water.
Cover Your Outdoor Unit
The final task for your end-of-season maintenance involves covering the outside condensing unit to protect it from the elements. Avoid completely covering the unit since that will trap condensation inside the equipment, leading to rust and deterioration. The easiest and most effective way to protect it is to lay a sturdy plywood board across the top, weighted down with bricks. Or if it’s within your budget, purchase a specially made cover for the condensing unit, with openings to allow ventilation inside.
To learn more about end-of-season air conditioner maintenance, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We serve Fresno and the surrounding area with pride.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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