You're all bundled up and dreading stepping outside into the cold, so your air conditioner is probably the last thing on your mind. Sadly, the tilt of the Earth's axis and its rotation around the sun are both reasonably reliable, so winter will inevitably give way to spring and summer. If you've put off critical air conditioning maintenance, then the joy of a new summer may quickly turn into horror.
Fortunately, there's no reason that you need to continue to defer essential maintenance just because it's cold outside. If you haven't spent much time thinking about your air conditioner this year, then follow these tips to provide some much-needed TLC before turning it back on next year.
1. Change the Filter
Depending on the type of filter your air conditioner uses, it may cost you anywhere from a few dollars up to around forty or fifty dollars. If you use high-end HEPA filters, you may have to pay more, but every option is ultimately pretty cheap. Despite their low cost, your AC filter puts in a pretty hefty amount of work to both maintain your interior air quality and keep your system reliable.
If you don't know anything about your air filter or when you changed it last, then it's time for a new one. Once you've got a new filter in place, remember to check its condition at least once a month and replace it every three months. If you're using a higher efficiency filter, you may only need to change it once or twice a year. Follow the recommendations from your filter's manufacturer if you aren't sure.
2. Do Some Winter Cleaning
Why should spring get to have all the cleaning fun? Your air conditioner has a few items that require periodic cleaning, including the evaporator and condenser coils. Your condenser coils should be relatively easy to reach, as long as you don't have a thick layer of snow on top of your outdoor unit. After shutting off the power, remove the unit's cover and spray with water or coil cleaner.
You can find your evaporator coils near your air handler, and they may require a bit more effort to reach. If you're unsure where to find it, consult your air conditioner's manual or call a professional. Once you have access, you can clean the coils using a commercially available cleaner or compressed air.
3. Schedule Your Yearly Service
Annual servicing is the most important thing you can do for your HVAC system. An HVAC technician will check the basics described above, but they'll also look for other signs of trouble. Many people schedule this service in the fall or early spring, but there's no reason you can't do it over the winter. Taking care of this crucial step now will ensure that your system functions correctly once the summer heat arrives.
For more information, contact AC maintenance companies.