The summer season is winding down in Portland, autumn is approaching, and with it comes the changing temperatures. Air conditioning is used less and less, which makes it the perfect time for end-of-summer A/C maintenance. As a homeowner, you’ll want to attend to some important areas to prepare your air conditioner for the winter.
- Air filters clear household air of pollutants (to varying degrees depending on the filter) before the air enters the HVAC system, gets heated or cooled, and then flows to your rooms. Most filters are disposable and simple to replace. Some older systems contain reusable filters that should be gently washed and then replacing when they’re completely dry. Install a new filter, or clean a reusable one, so the filter will be ready next spring when you turn on the A/C again. Realize, though, that in many systems, the same filter is used for both heating and cooling, since the furnace blower is employed for both functions. In that case, it’s always best to start the new heating season with a clean filter.
- Evaporator coils and fins in the inside air handler remove the heat from the air, leaving cool air to circulate to your rooms. Dirt accumulates on the fins and coils and slows the air cooling process. Remove any built-up dirt on the coils and fins by wiping them with a clean cloth.
- The condensate pan and drain catches moisture from the cooling process of the air handler and removes it outdoors. Inspect the pan and drain for water. If your system is in a non-insulated area, such as a garage, remove any standing water from the pan or drain to prevent freezing during the winter.
- The condenser releases heat outdoors and begins the cooling process. Check the condenser for dirt collecting on the fins and coils and carefully wash with a hose to remove any grime or dirt on the unit. Examine the area around the condenser for overgrown shrubs blocking the air flow, and remove any obstructions.
If you skipped annual A/C maintenance with a professional this past year, fall is a good time to contact a pro to complete a comprehensive inspection of your air conditioner to ensure your system will operate at peak performance next spring.
At Roth Heating & Cooling, we offer affordable precision A/C tune-ups. If you live in the Portland area and have questions about fall A/C maintenance, please contact our team of experts at (503) 266-1249.