We’ve finally reached the tail end of another hot desert season. Although the high temperatures will resume for a few more weeks, cooler weather is on the horizon! Before you know it, you’ll be engulfed in back-to-school prep, outdoor activity planning and weekends full of football. So we wanted to remind you of a few end of summer air conditioning tips that’ll ensure your cooling system is ready to go next year.
Avoid Future AC Problems With Proper Care.
Let’s face it, once the heat wave passes, it’s easy to forget about your AC and the amount of energy it consumes. Opening up some windows can be just as much of a relief as it is a breath of fresh air. But your air conditioning system isn’t something you should just shut down and forget about until May.
As a matter of fact, if you’re burdened by the cost and/or efficiency of your unit, setting aside time to take care of it should be a priority. Ignoring this will cause performance to decline faster than it needs to. Nonetheless, our end of summer air conditioning tips don’t just involve upkeep. Here are some additional measures worth noting:
1. Prepare to Manage the Desert Air.
If you’ve read any of our past posts on indoor air quality, you should be well aware of the effects of the Arizona climate. Most residents just don’t take the time to think about the types of allergens and pollutants that are floating around in the air. So before you get excited about open-window energy savings, have a plan to dust and clean.
Since outdoor temperatures tend to fluctuate towards the end of the summer, it’s common for many of you to go back and forth between air conditioners and a natural breeze. But if you’re not using any type of circulation, indoor air will accumulate impurities that are significantly more polluted than the outside air.
Why Is Good Air Important?
During a time where people have grown accustomed to wearing masks, the quality of air we breathe ought to be considered. A lack of attention here can result in unwanted illnesses or respiratory issues. So do your best to clean on a regular basis and look into an IAQ system, if you haven’t already.
2. Don’t Forget to Change HVAC Filters.
No matter how much you clean or dust the premises, you won’t have clean air if your filters are dirty. Changing these out is by far one of the most important end of summer air conditioning tips – even if you don’t plan on using the heater throughout the winter.
Most heating and cooling companies will advise you to do this every 3-4 months. But those of you with allergies (or dust sensitivity) should consider replacing them every 30 days. Keep in mind the monsoon season usually leaves air filters a lot more dirty than the remainder of the year.
3. Clean Off the AC Condenser Outside.
When it’s time for your air conditioner to go into hibernation, one of the best things you can do is check out the condenser unit to see if it has collected dust, debri or leaves. Unless your outside equipment hasn’t been inspected in years, cleaning it off is an easy thing to do. Simply use a broom to brush away any residue then rinse it off with a hose.
Since dirt and grime has a tendency to settle in hard-to-reach areas (like air intake components, the grill, fan blade, etc.) during the summer months, make sure you do a thorough job. Any remaining debri that’s left wet will only attract more dust. Implementing these types of end of summer air conditioning tips can go a long way.
4. Inspect The Outdoor AC Unit Itself.
The process of cleaning the condenser also gives you a good opportunity to check out its appearance or condition. If there are areas of corrosion, new cracks or damage of any sort, then you’ll probably want to get it repaired. Minor details, like this, that are left unattended often result in bigger problems when you need your cooling the most.
You’ll also want to take the time to check the seals to make sure they’re tight. When you take the time to inspect these things every year, irregularities are a lot easier to notice and manage properly. In other words, they should be reported to your local heating and cooling specialist before you need to use your system again.
5. Completely Power Down the AC Unit.
If you don’t want to occasionally run your system in fan mode to circulate air, then powering everything down is an option. At the same time, this isn’t executed by flipping a switch on the thermostat. You’ll have to go outside and locate the circuit box that’s near the condenser to power the unit down. Homeowners usually do this when they have kids that like to push the buttons on the thermostat.
6. Arrange Annual Maintenance Service.
Like we mentioned before, air conditioner upkeep is extremely important. Regular maintenance by a quality, certified technician will improve overall efficiency and extend the lifespan of your system. To some of you, it may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can help you avoid unwanted inconveniences.
With that being said, getting your springtime checkup scheduled ahead of time is a smart thing to do. Some people forget and end up waiting another year before getting their system properly inspected.
7. Protect Your AC Unit From the Cold.
In Phoenix, there’s no reason to ever cover your outdoor unit during the winter months. Even if there was severe cold weather, trapping moisture inside could actually do more harm than good. Nonetheless, if you live up north and want to protect the unit from certain elements, insulated covers are available. Just don’t leave them on too long.
If you’re really worried about freezing temperatures, then you should probably consider covering any exposed wires or pipes that run to the air conditioner. Foam pipe covers attached by electrical tape will enhance insulation and prevent cracking.
Professional AC Service Is Invaluable.
In Phoenix, a high-performing cooling system is like gold. In July and August, not many people go without one. Since a replacement doesn’t come cheap, we hope you take these end of summer air conditioning tips seriously. At the end of the day, you deserve optimal efficiency for as long as you can get it in the Valley of the Sun.