7 End of Summer Maintenance Tips
As the summer winds down, it’s time to give your cooling system some well-deserved TLC. Summers in Sugar Land, TX, are hard on your air conditioner, with scorching temperatures and high humidity levels. Your air conditioner has spent the last few months working hard to overcome these conditions and keep your home cool and comfortable. Before it’s retired for fall, your AC could use some maintenance.
The experts at Custom Comfort Air put together a list of end-of-summer maintenance tips for your AC. Follow these steps, and your system will be ready and raring to go for next summer!
1. Check Your Thermostat and Replace the Batteries
This may come as a surprise, but your AC maintenance routine will start inside your house. Although it’s often overlooked as part of a home’s cooling system, the thermostat plays an integral part in your AC’s performance.
If the thermostat isn’t working properly, it can’t communicate with your AC or heater. When this happens, your system may not be able to reach a comfortable temperature, or it may not turn on at all. Take a look at your thermostat to confirm that the programmed temperature matches the room temperature. While you’re here, swap out the old batteries with a fresh pair. As a rule of thumb, we recommend changing the batteries once every six months.
2. Replace the Air Filter
This step is also performed indoors. Freshening up the air filter is best done at the end of summer when you’re preparing your system for fall. This is because summer is an active season for pollen, which will quickly clog the air filter. A clogged air filter makes it harder for your system to run, which in turn raises your utility bills and causes additional wear and tear on your HVAC. To avoid those issues, we recommend changing your air filter at the end of summer.
The air filter is most likely located inside your furnace. Depending on the unit you have, you might be able to see the edge of the filter peeking out, or you may have to remove the front panel of the furnace to access it. Simply slide out the old filter and replace it with a fresh one. Keep in mind that air filters come in different sizes, so you’ll need a size that matches your unit.
3. Inspect the Outdoor Unit
Make your way outside to examine the external unit. This is called the condenser, and it’s responsible for drawing in air from the outdoors and cooling it down to your ideal temperature. It also releases warm air away from your house. That’s a big role to play, and condenser units sometimes take a beating throughout the long summer season. Take a close look at the unit for signs of wear and tear.
It’s common for debris like leaves, grass clippings, and weeds to pop up around the unit. Using a pair of gloves, clear those away so the unit isn’t blocked. Carefully remove any debris that’s become lodged in the delicate metal fins that surround the unit. Finally, if any of the fins look bent, use a butter knife to carefully mold them back into shape. If anything looks seriously damaged, have a technician take a look and discuss repair options.
4. Listen to the Unit Run
The sound your air conditioner makes while it’s running is a good indication of its overall health. During a cooling cycle, the system should make a steady humming sound. If you hear unusual sounds like rattling, clanking, or buzzing, there’s probably something wrong. Loud clanking or banging can indicate debris is stuck in the unit. You can usually clear this out by hand or with a garden hose. If the sound persists, you should let a technician know. There might be a bent fan, loose screws, or damaged fittings. In any case, you’ll want to have the issue resolved before summer ends.
5. Clean the Evaporator Coil and Drainage System
Evaporator coils tend to get dirty and dusty during summer. Unfortunately, this can reduce the unit’s performance and even cause it to overheat. Carefully clean the evaporator coil with a vacuum or garden hose. Once it’s clean, check the drip tray located beneath the coil. If there’s stagnant water down there, your condensate plumbing might be clogged. This can lead to mold and mildew growth. Let a professional know right away if there’s standing water inside your AC.
6. Invest in a Professional Tune-Up
There are some maintenance steps that aren’t exactly DIY-friendly. They require specialized tools and an expert-level understanding of your cooling system. For that, we recommend scheduling a tune-up at the end of summer. A professional tune-up includes a thorough cleaning and calibration of your system. It also covers your thermostat, ductwork, and electrical wiring related to the AC. If we notice any looming problems, we’ll let you know right away so we can fix them while they’re still minor. This will save you money and stress in the future. Preventative maintenance is also a key way to lengthen the life of your air conditioner. This means you can get the most out of your unit before considering a pricey replacement.
7. Cover the Unit
Once your maintenance routine is complete and you’re done using your AC for the season, it’s time to cover it up. If you don’t have one already, you can find a breathable mesh AC cover at your local hardware store. The cover simply slips over the top of the outdoor unit. Although this step is technically optional, it’s an easy way to protect your AC from some of the harshest aspects of the winter weather. It will also prevent dead leaves and plant matter from entering the unit as the trees shed their leaves during fall.
Your AC Maintenance Partner in Sugar Land
Summer might be coming to an end, but your AC maintenance routine is just beginning. Following the steps we discussed above will have your air conditioner refreshed after the long summer and prepared to hibernate during fall and winter. And for all of your professional AC maintenance needs, you can count on the experts from Custom Comfort Air. We are trained to tune up every make and model of air conditioner, so you can trust that we know what’s best for your system. We’ll help you improve your unit’s performance, optimize its energy efficiency, and maximize its lifespan. Custom Comfort Air has served the Sugar Land area since 1969, and now we’re ready to work with you!
On top of our top-notch AC maintenance services, we also offer comprehensive heating and cooling services. Whether you need your system repaired, replaced, or freshly installed, we’re the right team for the job. We’re also ready to help you improve the cleanliness and breathability of your indoor air with our state-of-the-art air purification and filtration systems. We’re your go-to source for clean, comfortable air all year long!
Call Custom Comfort Air today to schedule your tune-up!