What To Do With Your Air Conditioner In The Off Season

A chill is finally in the air, and your air conditioner is sitting dormant. Now is the time to perform off-season maintenance and prepare your air conditioner for a long, cold winter. Follow these tips to get your air conditioner ready for the coming months. 

Clear the Area Around the Condenser

The condenser, the part of the air conditioner that sits outside the home, needs sufficient air flow in order to function properly. It also needs to be clear of leaves and debris. Pull up any weeds or plants that may have grown up in the area around the condenser over the summer. Rake up the fall leaves that have accumulated around the unit. 

Clean the Condenser

Do this before the outside temperatures drop below freezing. To clean the condenser, spray down the outside of the unit, and clean inside with commercial coil cleaner, available at hardware stores and home improvement stores. Gently clean the fins with a soft brush, taking care not to bend them. 

Change the Air Filter

The air filter in your air conditioner cleans the air and prevents particulates, dust and pollen from circulating through your vents. During hot summer months, the air filter in your HVAC system likely became very dirty. Now that summer is over, it's time to check your air conditioner's filter, and replace it if it shows signs of dirt, or if it's more than 3 months old

Protect Your Air Conditioner 

Many homeowners cover their condenser in plastic in the winter, to protect the unit from moisture. Unfortunately, doing this simply traps in the moisture and prevents it from evaporating, speeding the rate at which the metal in the condenser rusts. To protect your condenser, follow these steps:

  • Apply a layer of car wax to the outside of the condenser. This protects the unit from moisture.
  • Place a piece of plywood, weighed down with heavy rocks or bricks, over the top of the condenser. This will prevent leaves from blowing in the top and prevent falling icicles from damaging the unit. 

Schedule Spring Maintenance

Some air conditioning services offer discounts to customers who schedule their annual tune up at a time when the calendar is looking wide open--like in the early spring. Call your air conditioner repair service to schedule your spring check up, and ask them about any discounts they may be offering.

Following these tips will prepare your air conditioner for the coming winter, but there's a greater benefit that should also be taken into consideration. Performing this type of maintenance on an annual basis will help keep your air conditioner in good shape for years to come. 

For more information, contact a local HVAC company, like A One Heating & Air Conditioning