What To Do With Your Air Conditioner When Summer Ends

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After a productive and lengthy summer, it is time to allow the cooling system to rest as you shift your attention to home heating. As temperatures drop, you can comfortably turn off the air conditioner. However, it is important not to simply switch it off and forget about it. Take the necessary steps to properly shut down the AC to make sure it enjoys an extended lifespan and is ready for peak performance next year. Read on to discover practical end of summer AC tips.

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What To Do With Your Air Conditioner When Summer Ends

This article delves into crucial subjects aimed at assisting homeowners in effectively maintaining their AC systems.

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Common Air Conditioner Problems to Look For

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During the summer, AC systems endure considerable stress as they tirelessly work day after day to keep homes cool with little time to rest. As fall approaches, it is wise to inspect the system for any potential problems that may have arisen over the past few months. Detecting issues early on allows for prompt and effective solutions.

  • Frozen Coils: Airborne dirt can accumulate on the coils over time. They form a thick layer of insulation. This buildup can prevent efficient heat transfer and can result in frozen surfaces. If you notice any signs of freezing, seek assistance from an HVAC technician right away to address the issue.
  • Dirty Filters: Air filters are responsible for capturing dirt. Their effectiveness is indicated by the accumulation of dirt on them. It is a positive sign that they are doing their job well. Be mindful of their capacity. If dirt accumulates excessively, it can restrict airflow. Change the air filters every month or so to maintain optimal airflow and performance.
  • Clogged Drains: The condensation vapor around the cold coils should be able to flow smoothly down the internal drains. Unfortunately, dirt can sometimes lead to clogs, trapping water inside the unit and causing potential overflows. If you notice any leakage from your air conditioning system, it may indicate a clogged drain. In such cases, contact an HVAC contractor to clean and address the issue promptly.
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Post-Summer Air Conditioner Maintenance

Develop a routine of conducting AC maintenance once summer is over. While you can handle tasks yourself, opting for a professional service is likely to yield superior results. Professionals have a keen eye for detecting issues that amateurs might overlook. They can efficiently perform necessary HVAC repairs if required. 

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What To Do With Your Air Conditioner

  • Listen: Switch on the air conditioner solely to listen to its operation. Unusual noises are among the most reliable indicators of potential issues with the cooling unit. A smoothly functioning system typically emits a consistent and quiet hum. However, if you notice any clicking, banging, wheezing, screeching, or other loud sounds from your AC unit, conduct a thorough investigation with a professional contractor’s help to identify the problem’s source.
  • Check: Give proper attention to the air conditioner’s electrical system. Before beginning any work, switch off the power to avoid accidents. For enhanced safety, let a trained HVAC technician handle the task. Technicians will meticulously inspect the continuity of connections and the condition of the wires. If any damage is found, they will replace the affected parts to mitigate the risk of fires and other hazards. They are skilled in fixing various electrical issues, including faulty capacitors and short circuits.
  • Clean: Clean the coils even if they are not frozen to prevent dirt from sticking to the surface. Remove any debris that might have entered the system. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove foreign materials lodged between the fins effectively. Trim nearby bushes and weeds around the outside unit to minimize the accumulation of debris.
  • Check the Thermostat: Maintain the thermostat’s accuracy as it controls the air conditioner. If the batteries are running low, make sure to replace them promptly. Reprogram your AC unit from summer settings to fall settings, as each season has its own optimal usage pattern. This helps achieve efficient and appropriate cooling or heating based on changing weather conditions.
  • Get Professional Help: If all these tasks seem overwhelming, there is no need to panic. You don’t have to handle them yourself. Get the assistance of a local HVAC technician who can take care of everything for you. Technicians are skilled in performing various maintenance tasks and can also provide valuable advice to help you avoid cooling system issues in the future. Do not hesitate to get professional help when you need it.
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Consider a Cooling System Upgrade

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As summer comes to a close, take some time to evaluate the status of your current air conditioner. Consider its age this year. Typically, most air conditioners have a lifespan of around ten years with proper maintenance. If your AC unit falls within this range and has been experiencing frequent breakdowns, consider replacing it with a new one. By doing so, you can alleviate worries about increasing HVAC repair costs. A new cooling system will operate smoothly. It offers enhanced features and improved energy efficiency, providing you with a more reliable and efficient cooling experience.

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Schedule a Heating System Tune-up

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As the temperatures drop, consider it a timely reminder that winter is approaching rapidly. Once you have attended to your air conditioner, shift your attention to the heating system. Schedule a professional boiler or furnace tune-up to prepare for the upcoming colder months. Address any potential issues during the fall to avoid the inconvenience of a broken furnace when it gets bitterly cold. Do not forget to stock up on fuel in your oil tank to have an adequate supply for the winter season.

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Additional HVAC Tips

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  • Review Energy Bills: Collect your energy bills over the past few months and compare them to the bills from the previous year. Look for any significant spikes in usage. Assess whether the changes are reasonable, considering your typical usage patterns and household appliances. If you notice an unexplained increase in energy use, contact an HVAC contractor immediately to investigate the matter further and identify any potential issues with your system.
  • Record Issues You Encounter: Maintain a record of any AC issues you come across during the summer. If you haven’t started one yet, it is a great time to begin by jotting down anything you can still recall. These notes will be valuable in keeping the HVAC technician well-informed during annual maintenance visits. By providing them with this information, they can address specific problems. It can also help them conduct a thorough and efficient inspection and maintenance of your air conditioning system.
  • Don’t Use An Air Conditioner Cover: Covering up your outdoor cooling unit for protection might be tempting. While it may sound logical, it can actually have a negative effect. It can trap moisture and potentially damage the internal components. Outdoor AC units are designed to withstand winter conditions without a cover. Focus on keeping the compressor’s surroundings clean and free of debris instead. This way, your AC system will be well-prepared to handle the winter weather without any unnecessary risks.
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Air conditioners play a vital role in making hot summers more bearable. They work tirelessly to keep us cool and comfortable. As summer comes to a close, pay attention to your unit. Conducting fall maintenance is crucial for your unit’s longevity. Contact a certified HVAC technician for a comprehensive check-up and timely solutions. With proper handling, care, and maintenance, your air conditioner will continue to provide reliable cooling for years.

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