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You’ve enjoyed your summer and the comfort of your air conditioner. Now it’s time to maintain your equipment before winter weather arrives. There are some simple steps you can take to keep your AC in good condition. If you’re uncomfortable with attempting some of these tasks, a local professional technician can handle them for you.

1. Check the AC Filter

Regular filter inspections are required if you want the unit to run reliably. Depending upon the equipment you own, you’ll either need to clean or replace the filter. Check the filter every three months. If you have pets in the home, do this more often. Putting this task off can slow the system, and over time, a dirty filter can damage components.

You can save money by purchasing multiple filters at a time. Most filters are easy to remove and replace. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to learn where the filter is located and how to remove it. Removable, washable filters are a great option if you want to save money and reduce your waste footprint.

2. Remove Debris From the Unit

Outdoor units attract leaves, grass and other airborne debris. If they pile up on the equipment, they can block the system from operating properly. Good airflow around the equipment is essential for good airflow into the home. Brush away the debris with a broom or leaf blower. Make sure it is bagged and put in the trash according to your local residential requirements.

3. Inspect the Compressor

In addition to removing debris, take a moment to make a visual inspection of the equipment. You’re looking for any obvious damage, loose connections, frayed wires and rust. What you discover needs to be noted and the right repair applied. Normal lawn care can send solid objects into the unit. Wire, rocks and other items can be kicked into the compressor by lawn mowers and trimming equipment. Also, look for signs of water or refrigerant leaks in outdoor and indoor units.

4. Clear Away Items Around the Unit

While cleaning away debris from the unit, also remove items stored next to it. This is especially important for air handlers and AC equipment installed in closets or basements. These areas make convenient spots to leave household items but are not the place to store these things permanently. Your equipment should have adequate airflow around it if you want an energy-efficient experience.

5. Clean Condensate Lines and Coils

Clogs in drainage lines and dirt on coils can slow the efficiency of your air conditioner. Without regular cleaning, this buildup can eventually lead to a system failure. The user manual will show you where drains and coils are located.

Completing this task requires some basic skills and knowledge about your equipment. The wrong cleaning approach can damage the system. If you aren’t familiar with how to correctly clean these components, schedule a maintenance appointment with an experienced technician. They will do this as a part of an annual tune-up.

For systems still under warranty, don’t do this work yourself. A professional tune-up will be required to meet warranty parameters.

6. Put a Cover on Outdoor Units

If your air conditioner is a stand-alone and is located outdoors, cover it before winter begins. It’s best to purchase a well-made, water-resistant cover. The cover should prevent animals from getting into the equipment to nest but also be ventilated to allow any moisture buildup to escape.

7. Inspect the Ductwork

Inspecting the ductwork helps you identify punctures and worn connections that leak air. Damaged ventilation channels make the system inefficient and leave it open to moisture and pests. If you notice cold air isn’t making it to certain rooms, a ventilation leak may be the problem. Remove dirt that can block air inside the channels by scheduling an appointment with a reputable duct cleaning company.

Texas Pride is your customer-friendly AC service for Houston homeowners. Our company has been delivering solid results for locals since 1984. We’re an EPA-certified company, and we hire NATE-certified technicians to respond to your heating and cooling requirements. You can rely on us for repairs, installations, replacements and maintenance. We also provide commercial AC and heating services, and we offer indoor air quality testing and wine refrigeration services. Call us today for more information or to schedule an appointment for your property or business.

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