After a summer of almost constant AC use, many homeowners welcome the fall as a time to take advantage of naturally cool air without running the HVAC unit. Though the autumn season represents a period of decreased air conditioning usage and more pleasant ambient temperatures, that doesn't mean that you should forget about your AC unit altogether. In fact, there are some critical maintenance tasks that should be performed on your AC unit just as summer gives way to the fall. While some of these tasks can be done by homeowners, others are better left to professionals who specialize in air conditioning and heating service and repair.
This fall, make sure that you prepare your AC unit for the downturn in usage and make sure that it is prepared to weather the long winter unscathed. Seasonal check-ups conducted by an air conditioning and heating repair company in Pittsburgh, PA, are always a good idea, and the autumn season is no different. Keep reading to learn a few tips for preparing your air conditioner for the fall.
Change the Air Filter
You should really be changing your air filter monthly, but it's especially important as you prepare your unit for fall. The autumn season is typically quite dry, and that means that dust, allergens, and airborne pathogens are prevalent in the air both outside and inside your home. The same filter that cleans air for your AC also filters air for your heater, so it's important to start the fall season with a fresh filter in place.
Schedule an HVAC Check-Up
Professionals know exactly what your AC unit needs to weather the winter, and the fall is a great time to have a preventive maintenance check-up on your HVAC system. During the check-up, ask the technician to check and clean air ducts, check refrigerant, measure airflow on the evaporator coil, verify electric control sequence, inspect electrical connections, oil motors, check and replace belts, and calibrate your thermostat if needed. Those are tasks that the average homeowner can't perform, so the cost of a maintenance call is well-worth the price.
Clean Up Around the Unit
After a summer of growth, you may have plants and foliage overtaking your outside AC condenser unit. That can be problematic if it restricts airflow and limits the efficiency of your unit. Also, as fall proceeds, your unit may be covered with fallen leaves from deciduous trees. That can also lead to reduced airflow to your unit and can cause problems when you turn the AC back on in the spring. Therefore, it's a good idea to clean up around your AC unit and make sure that there is plenty of space for air to flow freely. Also, be sure to either clean the coils in the condenser yourself or have a technician take care of that task during your scheduled check-up. The coils gather grime from the presence of condensation and dirt, and in the fall there's additional dust that can become caked on the coils. Don't let that grime remain on the coils all winter long, as it can lead to problems when you turn the unit on again next spring.
By taking care of these fall maintenance tasks, you can prepare your AC unit for a season of limited use and make sure that it's ready to perform again when the temperatures climb as winter ends. To learn more about preparing your AC unit for fall, contact Stahl Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning at (412) 273-1000.