By Anita Ginsburg
Now that the summer heat is slowly dissipating, it's time to start prepping your air conditioner for the cooler fall temperatures. Depending on where you live in the U.S., you might not expect to use your AC unit much this fall, and you might not use it at all during the winter.
Take some time to get ready to shut it down for the season while ensuring the unit is in good condition for next year. Here are some simple ways to maintain your AC unit:
Turn on your AC specifically to study how it performs. How long does it take to reach the temperature you've set on the thermostat? Is the air adequately cool? Does the unit make funny noises or emit strange sounds? Take note of anything out of the ordinary that needs attention before you turn it off for good this fall. It's better to address issues now when repair or replacement costs will be lower than when they pick up again next spring.
Monitor Temperature Gauge
As you check your AC unit, keep an eye on the thermostat to see if the temperature stays where you want it to. If the room temperature vacillates or if the unit seems to run for several minutes before cooling the air to the specified temperature, you may have a problem. A thermostat that does not register the actual temperature or maintain the programmed temperature should be checked by a technician.
An annual inspection and assessment of your AC equipment is a good idea even when everything seems to be working fine. You may have gotten used to a small motor whine or a faint burning smell; this usually suggests that the unit is working extra hard to do its job. A yearly check can reassure you that all is well and ready for the next warm season. Small problems can be diagnosed with recommendations by the expert.
Get Repairs Taken Care Of
If a problem is detected during the inspection, have the AC repair work done promptly. Waiting for warm weather to roll around again could allow the problem to get worse and, as mentioned, service and equipment prices could go up in price. Having the work done now means that your air conditioning will be ready for you to enjoy on the first hot day next year.
Air conditioning is one of those home amenities that we often take for granted until it stops working. Keep your AC unit in good condition so that you can enjoy its cooling comfort for years to come!
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. She recommends having a technician check for and take care of any necessary AC repairs before you shut down the unit. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.