Necessary Fall AC Maintenance

Necessary Fall AC Maintenance

At the end of the summer season, you’re likely thinking about preparing your home for the upcoming cold winter months. However, it’s important to take some time to perform some maintenance on your air conditioning system. This will help to ensure that it’s ready for the stagnant winter season and will be ready to start up when springtime comes back around.

Pay Attention to Odd Noises and Smells

Before you start to perform any fall maintenance on your air conditioning system, it’s important that you take a moment to see how it’s running. It’s very easy for you not to realize that a low noise has developed in your system or that it’s giving off an odd smell. It’s human nature just to adapt to these changes if they happen slowly over time.

You’ll want to be listening to your air conditioning system and using your nose to detect any odd smells that may be coming from it. Some common noises you may hear are vibrating, humming, or clicking. Some unusual smells that you may notice are that of exhaust fumes, mildew, and garbage. If you notice any odd smells or noises, it’s essential to address these issues before wrapping your AC system up for the winter.

Clean Your Indoor Unit

If everything seems normal with your air conditioning unit, it’s time to move on to the cleaning phase. By cleaning the various components of your air conditioning system now, you can prevent that debris from coming up over the long winter months. You’ll want to start this phase by killing the power to your entire air conditioning system at your electrical panel.

Go ahead and remove the access panel to your indoor unit. Start by cleaning the evaporator coils. Due to the amount of stuck-on debris that these coils experience, it’s best to use a specialized coil cleaner. These typically come in a foaming agent where you spray it on and wait a specific period of time while it works to clean the coil’s surface.

Once the evaporator coils are cleaned off, it’s time to clean your drain and the drain pipe. Your main goal should be to remove any gunk that is blocking the drain. Mixing up a solution of bleach and water and pouring it down the drain can help to bust up any of that gunk and any hard water scaling.

Check Your Air Filter

While you’re still inside, you should pop out the air filter for your air conditioning system. You want to hold it up and see if you’re able to see through it. If you can, go ahead and put the filter back in as it still has some useful life left in it. If you can’t see through it, it’s time to replace it.

When it comes to replacement air filters, you have four main options. These are pleated, reusable, HEPA, and fiberglass. If you’re looking for a filter that has a fairly decent filtering ability and is still affordable, you’ll want to invest in the pleated filter. If you have allergies or multiple pets, it’s a good idea to invest in the HEPA filter. It can be more expensive, but it will do more filtering to enhance the air quality inside of your home.

Clean Your Vents

Your air conditioning system has ductwork that runs throughout your home and enters each room through a vent. Each room of your home should have two different vents, which are the supply vent for delivering cold air to the room and the return vent for pulling hot air out of the room. Over time, these vents can collect a lot of dust and debris.

You can use a wet cloth to wipe down the grates of each vent. If you’re able to pop the vent out of its position, it will be easier to clean. You can simply pop it out and spray it down without having to worry about getting any excess water on your walls. Just make sure that all of your vents are completely dry before you reinstall them. Otherwise, they could develop biological growth like mildew.

Clean Up Outside

Your air conditioning system will have an outside condenser unit that is responsible for dispersing the hot air from your home. Because it’s exposed to all the outdoor elements, it’s very common for the condenser unit to get loose debris blown up against it. Now is a good time to clear out the space around your condenser unit. Go ahead and spray off the cover and trim any shrubs or tree limbs that are within a couple of feet of the unit.

Clean Your Condenser Unit

Once you pop the cover off your condenser unit, you want to start by removing any big clumps of loose debris. Next, use your coil cleaning agent to clean off the condenser coils. Once the foaming agent has set for the recommended amount of time, get the hose out.

You want to spray out the entire condenser unit. Be careful to remove any debris that is stuck in the metal fins. Avoid using a pressure washer as the pressure that it creates will likely bend the fins in your system.

The last thing you need to do with your outdoor condenser unit is to straighten out any of the fins that have become bent. You can do this with a fin comb that is of the right size for your air conditioning system, or you can use a small pair of needle-nose pliers.

Check Your Wiring

As you’re cleaning out your indoor and outdoor units, it’s a good idea to look over the wiring. You specifically want to look for any wiring that is fraying, corroded, or loose. Make sure you tighten up any loose wires that you come across. You should be able to remove most of the corrosion from the wires. However, you may find that some of the wiring may need to be replaced. It’s best to call in a professional to take care of your wiring issues.

Professional Tune-Up

When the summer weather turns to breezy fall weather, it’s the perfect time to schedule a tune-up visit. You’re likely going to have a professional come in to take a look at your furnace to prepare it for the upcoming winter season. At the same time, you should have that professional evaluate your air conditioning system.

When a professional evaluates your air conditioning system, they’re looking for a number of different things. These include checking the condition of your belts, lubricating any moving parts, recharging your refrigerant levels, and much more. By having a professional look at your air conditioning system at the end of the summer season, they can alert you to any upcoming problems.

For example, if one of your fans is making a humming noise, it’s likely going to need to be replaced for the upcoming summer season. This gives you the added benefit of being able to save up money to repair your air conditioning system. It’s much easier to handle a repair problem when you know about it ahead of time instead of dealing with an unexpected expense when you need your air conditioning system the most.

Helpful AC Service Professional

Hansen Air Pros is your helpful air conditioner service professional for the Mobile community. We’re also here to assist you with all of your heating, generator, and indoor air quality needs. Just give us a call today, and we’ll get a specialist on the way to you.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Air Conditioner

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Air Conditioner

When summer hits, it’s time to keep the house cool with your air conditioner. But even though you might think that you know how to run your air conditioner and keep your house in a way that will optimize the cooling effects while minimizing the energy that it costs, you might want to think again. There are many ways that homeowners miss out on valuable opportunities to cut cooling costs, but we’re here to provide you with some tips for getting the most out of your AC.

Have Your HVAC System Serviced

One of the first things that you should do to cut down on energy loss is to have your HVAC system serviced. Small bits of dirt can clog up vents and filters, and minor repairs can make a big difference in the amount of energy that your air conditioner has to put out to cool the house.

Get Some Blackout Curtains

You should also think about investing in some dark, heavy curtains. No, it doesn’t always go with the breezy vibe that you’re aiming for in the summer, but blackout curtains or even just heavy, dark curtains can block out a lot of heat from the sun.

Install New Weather Stripping

You’ll be happy that you put new weather stripping around the doors and windows both in the summer and the winter. This is easily one of the best ways to save a ton of money on energy costs. A little bit of weather stripping can prevent the heat from getting in through the bottom of the doors and through the sides and bottoms of the windows in the summer and prevent the heat from escaping the house in the winter.

Don’t Cook or Do Laundry When It’s Hot Outside

Cutting down on the heat that you make inside the house is also important. For instance, don’t cook inside the house during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, you can grill outside or you can make food inside the house that doesn’t require using the stove or oven.

It is also a good idea to avoid running the dishwasher or dryer during the hottest parts of the day. A better strategy is to run them when you’re going to be away for at least a couple of hours. That way, you can program your thermostat to cool down the house a half an hour before you reach home and won’t have to worry about coming home to a hothouse.

Use Your Ceiling Fans Correctly

Using ceiling fans is another simple and effective way of cutting down on how much you have to run your air conditioner. One thing that a lot of people don’t know about their ceiling fans is that you should have them rotating in different directions depending on the season of the year. In the winter, they should rotate clockwise because of the way that the blades are tilted. This clockwise direction creates an updraft that will cause warm air to bounce off the ceiling and be redistributed throughout the space.

In the summer months, however, you should have the blades turning counterclockwise to create a downdraft that will be cooling. Additionally, you should have the blades at about a 12-degree angle to the floor, and they should be at no more than a 15-degree angle to the floor. You need at least 12 degrees to create enough air movement, but a 16-degree angle is much more likely to shift papers and other light objects.

Open the Windows at Key Times

While opening the windows during the warm hours of the day isn’t a good idea, it can be a great way to cool down the house during the night or if you have a cool day right after a hot one. This also gives you the opportunity to air out the house so that it’s not so stuffy. You can create a cross breeze by opening windows on both sides of the house so that the air flows through easily, and quite often, this will cool down a whole house in a matter of 20 minutes.

Install a Smart Thermostat

Updating your thermostat can save you a huge amount of money by helping you be more precise and mindful about when and how you’re using your air conditioning. It’s also nice to be able to turn on your thermostat or have it stay off longer just by pulling out your smartphone and making some adjustments.

When you have a smart thermostat, you’ll be able to have your air conditioner come on an hour earlier or later than what you originally set it at if you find out you’ll be coming home a little early or a little late on a particular day. This way, if you won’t be back until later, you’re not cooling a house that no one is around to enjoy, and you won’t have to come back to a sticky and hothouse if you decide to go home early one day.

A smart thermostat is also a useful tool if you have pets that you leave at home. If you go away for a weekend and leave your cats at home, you can easily turn the air up a bit if the weather gets hot. While cats aren’t as prone to overheating as dogs, they can still get heatstroke. So, if you’re worried about your cat, you can turn the thermostat to 77 degrees to keep your cat safe. The same goes for your dog, although dogs are more likely to prefer an even cooler temperature.

Change Out the Filter

You should also change your filter regularly. With all of the pollen floating around the air in the spring and summer months, people with allergies will appreciate it. And having a clean filter is also a way to reduce energy costs while keeping your home cool and protecting your HVAC system from dust that can clog components on your HVAC system and reduce the air quality in the home.

In general, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, but you might also choose to change your filter early if you’ve had a season with a lot of pollen and other air contaminants. You may also want to change the filter more frequently if you’ve had to run your air more than usual.

Clean the Condenser

Cleaning the condenser on the outside unit is also important. You should do this at least once a season, usually toward the beginning of the summer, so that the air is flowing through the outside unit easily. Clean any twigs, leaves, and larger sticks away from the condenser, and you should make sure that the fins on the outside unit are straight because this can have a big impact on how hard your air conditioner has to work.

When you’re trying to keep the air in your house cool and clean while not running up your energy bill or overworking your air conditioner, you should employ some of these tips. You can also talk to us at Hansen Air Pros in Mobile, AL. We offer a full range of heating and cooling services, including repairs, maintenance, and installations. We can also provide indoor air quality and generator services. Reach out to us today for more information.