Fall may not be peak air conditioning season, but that does not mean you should not be taking care of your air conditioner this season. In fact, there are a few things you can do for your AC system this fall to ensure it's fully functioning and ready to operate when spring comes again. Here's a look.
Clean And Cover It
Covering your air conditioner with a cover that is made specifically for it can help protect it in the winter. But the mistake many homeowners make is failing to clean their air conditioner before applying this cover. This just traps in the dirt and any moisture, which may cause accelerated rates of corrosion.
To clean your AC unit, remove its cage, and then vacuum out any leaves, dirt, and debris with a shop vacuum. If the unit is very dirty, you may want to rinse it down with a hose. Then, let it sit and dry completely before putting the cover on.
If you do not have a cover for your air conditioner, you are better off leaving it without one than covering it with a tarp. A tarp does not breath, so it may hold in too much moisture and end up damaging the unit.
Put Bleach In the Condensate Pipe
There's a clear, plastic pipe that carries condensation away your the indoor condensing coil of your AC system. This pipe can start to accumulate mold and algae, and as it sits unused all winter, that growth can grow to the point of causing a blockage.
You can kill any algae or mold in your condensate pipe by pouring a cup of bleach into the opening in the condensate pipe. This opening should be found right against your AC coil's exterior housing; it may have a screw-on cap that you have to remove.
Change The Filter
In most homes, the air conditioner and heater send air through the same filter. So, fall is the perfect time to change the filter. This way, when you turn the heat on in a few months, your air will have a clean filter to travel through, which will ensure your furnace is able to operate efficiently. Air filters only cost a few dollars a piece. You may want to buy a slightly higher-cost one if someone in your family has allergies or you have pets, since these higher-end filters trap smaller particles.
Talk to a local ac service for more tips on maintaining your unit.