Air condition maintenance is key to a cool and comfortable home. Find out how long does a tune up take for your air conditioner. Apart from providing comfort, it also ensures energy efficiency and prevents needless expenses due to energy inefficiency and repairs. While maintenance is much needed during the summertime when ACs are used 24/7, keeping the air conditioner in top condition should remain a concern of every homeowner throughout the year.
For instance, before the onset of summer, homeowners should have their ACs tuned up. Annual maintenance checkups are important as only HVAC professionals can assess, carry out proactive maintenance work, and address possible cooling issues an AC may have. During the summer season, when ACs are used to the hilt, the homeowner should make it a point to change filters promptly especially when there are pets inside the house.
After summer, when ACs are no longer used, homeowners need to cover their air conditioners. While outdoor units are weatherproof and can withstand rain or even snow, they cannot tolerate the harsh effects of falling leaves, twigs, and shrubbery. These could block important mechanisms inside, trap moisture in areas where moisture should be avoided, and cause eventual corrosion and rusting.
When to cover the air conditioner?
The best time to start covering the air conditioner’s outdoor unit is during fall. When leaves start dropping, it is time to protect the condenser from dried leaves and twigs. Homeowners can use store-bought covers or use an available makeshift covering at home.
Regardless of the material of the cover, homeowners should remember that the outdoor unit should only be covered partially. Cover only the top of the unit so that falling leaves and twigs cannot penetrate the unit. There should be no more than a six-inch covering per side of the condenser. Why? Fully covering the unit will trap moisture inside and invite rusting and corrosion.
Guidelines for covering the air conditioner
Homeowners should only cover their ACs during fall. The outer unit must remain uncovered for the rest of the year to avoid bigger issues. One common mistake by homeowners is that they must cover the condenser to avoid damage during winter and fall. This however is counterproductive, as covering the air conditioner during winter could just lead to AC damage.
Below are some of the elements that homeowners wish to protect their ACs from, to the detriment of their AC condenser:
- Dirt and dust. Outdoor units are unsightly when dusty but the best way to keep them clean is to just routinely dust them off. Covering the outdoor unit will only invite moisture that could make the assembly rusty and corrode important mechanisms within the condenser.
- Snow and rain. Condenser units are meant to withstand harsh weather like snow and rain. By covering the unit, snow and rainwater could get trapped along with the moisture that it brings, causing damage to the unit.
- Pests. Pests can enter the unit regardless of whether it is covered or not. Rodents and small animals could even get attracted to the warmth that the cover can provide; hence it could just get to the grills or small openings.
Homeowners should keep in mind that air conditioners should only be covered during the fall to protect them from falling leaves and twigs. You may be also interested to know how a heat pump works during the summer as it is very interesting. The covering should only be on top of the unit and should have no more than a six-inch cover hanging on the sides of the AC, to keep it from retaining moisture. The cover should be immediately removed as soon as winter sets in.