Summer has come to an end and it's finally time to open up the windows and turn off the air conditioner. Before it begins to get too cold outside, you need to do some prep work to your exterior unit. There are just a few things you need to do, and even the most novice homeowner can handle these tasks. See below for some helpful tips to prep your air conditioner for the fall season.
Shut Off The Power
Pull the plug on your unit for the cold weather season up ahead. There's no sense in having power running to it, so go ahead and pull the plug on it, remove the fuse, or simply turn off the switch.
Hose It Down
Give the unit a good spray down with the garden hose to get it clean. Remove dirt, grass clippings, and other debris that can block the flow of air to your unit. These types of things may have accumulated on your unit over the summer months. Using anything other than a garden hose, such as a pressure washer, will be too strong and can harm the fins on your unit. Spray it down starting at the top and working your way down. Open the lid to the unit and then spray from the inside to get rid of even more debris. Be sure to reach inside the unit to clean out debris that may have fallen in through the top.
Clean Around The Unit
Landscaping around the unit can overgrow and block the flow of air to the unit as well. Pull out weeds, trim back bushes, and address anything else that is growing a little too close around the perimeter of the unit. You should have at least three feet around the unit to allow for proper air flow.
Add A Cover
Once the unit and the area surrounding it are clean, use a tarp to cover it for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Falling leaves and other debris may wind up back in your unit, so covering it will prevent this debris from finding its way inside. You may even want to use a board to cover the unit, as falling snow and ice can damage the unit during cold winter months.
Change The Air Filter
Finally, be sure to change the air filter in your HVAC system. The air filter should be changed every other month, but if you have forgotten, in between seasons is a good time to get it done. You can check your air filter by holding it up to the light. If you can't see any light filtering through it at all, it's time to change it.
Prepping your air conditioner for fall is a fairly simple task, and one that every homeowner should do. Contact a professional HVAC service technician for help with this task and for other HVAC maintenance tasks. For more information, companies like Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc. can help.