If you didn’t know you should be servicing your A/C, or simply forgot to do it earlier in the year, it won’t hurt to get that crucial service performed now.
But what about if you did already have professional A/C maintenance back in May? Do you need to do it again?
No, but there are some steps you can take at home to ensure your A/C has its best chance at a long life.
An oil change isn’t needed more than is recommended, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t driving habits that help ensure the health of your vehicle: like not slamming on the gas every time accelerate.
In the same respect, here are some ways for end-of-summer A/C maintenance you can do yourself.
REPLACE THE AIR FILTER
One of the most important, and perhaps simplest, steps you can take towards A/C maintenance is replacing the air filter.
A dirty air filter affects airflow.
Poor airflow prevents your rooms from getting cold as fast as they could, meaning your system is running longer (costing you more money) and causing your A/C to work harder for the same result (leading to more breakdowns).
Ten seconds, and a few bucks, can save you a load of frustration during the summer heat waves.
MAKE SURE YOUR A/C HAS ROOM TO BREATHE
This is a simple, but often overlooked, task that will greatly assist the longevity and functionality of your A/C unit.
Your A/C works by pulling in air, super cooling it by removing heat and moisture as it passes over coils, and sending that air into your home.
If grass or weeds have grown up around your condenser, or you’ve crowded it with junk during summer yard work, it can’t run as smoothly as it should.
Clear away anything that could be blocking airflow, and leave a minimum of one foot on all sides and ideally at least 3 feet clear on 2 sides.
Your A/C has claustrophobia, and it needs its space to breathe. Don’t stress it out, and keep that space free and clear.
CLEAN THE COILS
Dirty coils can cause a variety of issues with your A/C unit, and you’ll want to make sure you regularly clean this crucial part of your A/C unit.
It is strongly recommended that a Green Apple professional remove the casing and perform a heavy-duty cleaning at least once per year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do to help in this area.
A quick spray-down with a regular garden hose will knock off the larger chunks of dirt and debris and will greatly assist in the longevity of your A/C unit.
Just be sure to pull the disconnect plug before washing. The disconnect is usually on the wall beside your unit, attached by a thick wire. Simply open the cover on the gray box and pop the kill switch. The manually turns off your unit and ensures no electricity is running to the A/C.
Hose it down, let it dry, and plug it back in and you’re good to go.
INSPECT AND LISTEN TO THE YOUR A/C
While it’s not as thorough as A/C maintenance by a Green Apple professional, you can still visually inspect your A/C to make sure everything is working as it should.
You might be able to hook up the pressure gauges or run electrical tests on individual components, but you can make note of anything unusual.
Wobbling fan blades, scraping noises, loose screws, and anything else that seems abnormal should be noted.
Loose screws can be tightened and debris can be removed if it’s causing the improper function of the unit, but for more complicated issues, I’d highly recommend you call your local A/C service.
You could choose to ignore the odd sound or loose part provided that your A/C is still cooling as it should, but please note that the longer you ignore the issue, the greater chance it has of becoming a costly repair.
A loose part can be tightened, but if something breaks, it’ll need to be replaced at a higher cost.
COMBINE YOUR END OF SUMMER A/C MAINTENANCE WITH A FURNACE TUNE-UP
Fall isn’t just a time to make sure your A/C is still working as it should. It’s the time you should be thinking about making sure your furnace is all set for winter with a furnace tune-up.
While you’re performing these checks on your A/C, take the time to inspect your furnace as well.
If you replaced the air filter already, you won’t need to do it again, as the same air filter is shared throughout your entire HVAC system.
There’s nothing to hose down in your furnace, and you wouldn’t want to anyway, but you could dust it off and make sure that the casing is clean. It won’t necessarily affect functionality, but it’ll look nicer.
Even if it’s not cold yet, adjust your thermostat so the furnace kicks on. Visually take a look and make sure the flames ignite and are a solid blue.
If you see primarily orange, instead of blue, turn off your system and contact a Green Apple professional immediately. There could be a host of problems, but the most crucial is the potential for deadly Carbon Monoxide.
Green Apple Mechanical are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priorities. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC needs call us today toll-free at 888-611-7191