You may only use your air conditioner during hot weather months, but it is an appliance you should care for year round, not just when it's in use. You should care for it in the off-season as well. Year-round care will help prevent a breakdown when you need it the most and can help ensure your air conditioner has a long life-span. Read on for care tips throughout the year for your air conditioner.
During spring months, you may not have begun using your air conditioner, but now is the time when you want to start getting it ready for use. Make sure it is uncovered (if you covered it during the fall and winter months), and give it a good spray down with the garden hose. Remove the exterior housing to get inside the unit and spray the fins clean. Take the lid off and remove any debris that may have fallen inside such as leaves, twigs, and any other debris. Inspect the hoses and the insulation on the piping to be sure it is in good shape.
Spray it down at least once per month throughout the summer to remove pollen, grass clippings, and other debris that has collected in the fins. Remove what you can to ensure your system works properly all summer long. Inspect the hoses and pipe insulation to be sure that they are in good shape and keep your pets away from the system. If your pet decides your system is a good place to go to the bathroom, it can ruin your system and cause a breakdown. Clip back the grass and other landscaping to prevent it from blocking the flow of air to your system.
The season is beginning to wind down, and you may only use your air conditioner once or twice during this time. Keep the landscaping trimmed to prevent it from growing too closely to your system and causing a block of air flow or damage. If you have trees nearby, you may want to think about covering your system to prevent leaves and twigs from falling into your system.
Sure, air conditioners aren't used during this time, but you should still pay attention to the system. You should have a cover of some type on your condensing unit. You should also use a piece of plywood to cover the unit as well to prevent ice or heavy snow from falling onto the system and causing damage.
You want your air conditioner to work during the warm weather months, but you should care for it throughout the entire year. Talk to a professional HVAC technician about other helpful maintenance tasks you should be doing throughout the year.