A few months ago you probably were thinking about a precision tune up so your air conditioner would be running at its best all summer long. It’s hard to believe, but the air conditioning season is over in northeast Ohio.
There are a few things you can do now that will help you get next year’s cooling season off to a great start.
The outdoor portion of your air conditioner (the condenser) is made to sit outside in all kinds of weather. It is not necessary to put a cover on it—and most manufacturers recommend against it—but some homeowners have special circumstances that might make it a good idea. One homeowner I spoke to recently has a tree right over the unit that regularly drips sticky sap and debris onto the condenser. She always covers her unit, but should probably just trim the tree!
If you decide to cover your air conditioner, make sure you purchase a cover through your heating and cooling company. It will be properly designed to allow air to circulate and help keep rust from forming. Inexpensive plastic covers can cause more damage than they prevent by allowing moisture to condense inside your unit. Our technicians regularly see units that are shiny outside, but a disaster inside from this. If your condenser is located where ice can fall it, you can place a lightweight board across the top and hold it in place with a brick for protection. Any type of cover must be removed before the air conditioner is turned on. If you don’t, you risk serious and expensive repairs to your unit.
After the last leaf falls, remove any debris, leaves, etc. from around the unit. Also make sure that the ground around the unit does not drain toward it. You don’t want your condenser sitting in a puddle when snow melts. This is also a good time to make sure that your unit is level and that the landscaper has not covered the lower portion with an overly generous application of mulch!
Visually inspect the condenser for any signs of damage or leaks. Taking care of these repair issues now can keep them from getting worse over the winter. If it’s been a while since you changed your filter, now would be a good time to do so to be ready for the heating season.
We gave our air conditioners quite a workout this summer in northeast Ohio. Take a few minutes to make sure your air conditioning is ready for next spring.
For more information about air conditioning maintenance, contact the professionals at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving Cleveland homeowners since 1936.
Kim Nemecek works at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. After growing up in Cleveland, she lived in Florida for many years, working at an air conditioning company there. Kim has four grown children, two grandchildren and two spoiled dogs. She lives in Solon with her husband, Todd.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.