Caring for your AC unit throughout the year ensures that your home cooling will be as reliable as possible during the months you use it. This type of care includes regular filter changing, annual technician servicing in the spring, and putting your unit to bed for the winter. Here are three steps to fall maintenance to make sure your unit is prepared for whatever winter weather you get this year.
1. Check the unit's condition
It's been a few months since your professional checkup in the spring. You should give your unit the once-over, which will give you a good estimate of its overall condition and can help you get an idea of any work it may need done next spring. Switch the unit off first, then check these items:
- The cooling coil. Does it look about the same or is it clogged with debris?
- The fan blade, which can easily be bent or chipped by sticks or careless handling.
- The inside of the cabinet, which should be free from debris (remove any dead leaves you find).
- All visible components, which you can inspect visually for obvious damage.
This routine won't catch every potential problem with your unit, but it does help give you a good representation of the unit's overall condition.
2. Perform routine maintenance
In addition to clearing out debris from the unit, you should think ahead and change the filter now so that you won't have to worry about it in the spring. Changing the filter in the fall ensures that you have a clean filter in place next time you need one. You'll also need to clean the outdoor unit by hosing it down (still with the power switched off).
3. Put it away for the winter
Of course, you won't actually "put" the unit anywhere; it'll stay right where it is. But you can bundle it up well against the cold. First, locate any pipes visible above ground. These need to be protected from freezing, so find some foam pipe covers to insulate them with. Next, you'll need to acquire an AC unit cover that will wrap around the unit and help to take the edge off the potentially damaging winter weather. This is especially important because otherwise snow and ice could harm bits of the unit such as the vulnerable fan blades.
Use these three steps to help you get your unit ready for the winter ahead. When the warm weather comes again, you'll be glad you had the foresight to do so. Your unit will be in better shape and may even require fewer repairs at your spring maintenance appointment. For more information, talk to an HVAC contractor like those at DCS Inc.