As the dog days of summer wind down and we look forward to the cooler weather ahead, it’s time to thank our trusty central air conditioning system for a job well done and give it some well-earned time off. But that doesn’t mean simply switching the thermostat to off until next summer. In fact, giving it the TLC it needs now helps ensure it’s prepared for the the change of season and ready to keep you cool and comfortable once summer rolls back around.
Here are 5 proven ways to prepare your AC system for fall.
1. Clean or replace the air filter. Much like the air filter in your car that keeps things running smoothly, your AC filter works non-stop to keep dirt, dust, allergens, and other pollutants out of the air inside your home. A filter that is dirty and clogged makes your central air system work harder than it should to keep you cool, leading to increased wear and tear, premature repairs, and shortened equipment life.
2. Check the thermostat. Make sure the thermostat responds to settings and keeps your home at the desired temperature. Still have one of those old mechanical-style thermostats? Now’s the perfect time to upgrade to a programmable model or a WiFi-enabled smart thermostat. Either option means no more cooling (or heating) an empty house; just program the system to raise or lower the temp to your liking so it’s perfectly comfortable upon your return.
3. Keep the area around the outside unit clean. The condenser – the outside component of an AC system – needs to have plenty of room to ” breathe” in order to operate effectively and efficiently. Keep shrubs, trees, and other plantings about three feet away from the unit and periodically inspect the area for any sticks, leaves, and debris that may accumulate.
4. Clean interior vents. Avoid covering vents and registers with furniture, area rugs, toys, or any other obstructions to maximize air flow and improve overall air quality inside your home. Take this time to dust or vacuum vents so they don’t send dust back into your living space once you turn the heat back on for the first time.
5. Schedule preventative maintenance. We get it – you kept meaning to have your AC system inspected but life managed to get in the way. Might as well wait until next spring, right? Wrong! You still have plenty of time to have this important service performed – as long as the outdoor temp is above 60 degrees F for a minimum of three consecutive days. Preventive system maintenance catches minor issues before they become costly emergency repairs, helps your system operate at max efficiency, and extends equipment life.
For annual preventive maintenance or any heating or cooling need, contact the pros at Relief Heating and Cooling. In and around Piedmont Triad, no one is better suited to keep your home comfort systems operating smoothly and to your complete satisfaction.