Many types of equipment tend to develop problems if they’re not used for a certain amount of time. The average home tends to switch to heating around mid to late fall, after which the air conditioner usually sits unused until the following spring. In today’s post, local home AC repair contractor Mechanical Technologies shares a look at what happens when air conditioners aren’t used for months.
Today’s AC manufacturers take into account the fact that air conditioners aren’t used during the winter months. Turning the air conditioner off for the season won’t be harmful, as long as you follow proper shutdown procedures and ensure that it’s properly cleaned and maintained in the meantime. You can also get an air conditioner cover to protect the outdoor unit from dust, leaves and debris, as well as from being accessed by small animals.
There are a few things you need to do when you turn your air conditioner back on. Many of these tasks are simpler than performing swamp cooler maintenance, and can be done without tools:
• Inspect the outdoor unit and make sure that it’s clean, particularly the thin aluminum fins that line its interior. Check the coils and make sure they’re clean. Their function is to expel heat, and the cleaner the coils are, the more efficient they’ll be. Also, keep an eye out for leaky refrigerant lines and clogged condensate lines. If you find any of these problems, don’t turn on your AC until your HVAC technician has performed repairs.
• If your air conditioner doesn’t exhibit such problems, go ahead and run it, but keep it in fan mode for 10 minutes up to one hour. This will “jumpstart” air circulation in the ductwork and push dust and odors into the air filter.
Additionally, if your air conditioning system is up for replacement, consider investing in a heat pump, a type of heating system that’s essentially a reverse air conditioner. This means you’d be using the same system for most of the year, which would help you save on maintenance and utility costs.