Last week marked the first day of fall, which means that summer is officially over according to our calendars. Even though we can still expect some warm weather in the foreseeable future, the hottest days of the year are most likely behind us and temperatures will begin cooling down before we know it. During this transitional time of year, many people have questions about what to do with their air conditioners as they prepare for the upcoming heating season. Today we’re going to talk about air conditioner problems to look out for at the end of summer, how you can save energy as it gets cooler outside and what to do with your air conditioner when you’re done using it for the year!
Air conditioner problems to look out for at the end of summer
The end of summer is one of the times of year that air conditioners can start to suffer from performance problems. Even though the weather is cooling down and your air conditioner has less of a workload, problems can develop from the wear and tear that your system has undergone over the past few months. Some things to look out for at the end of summer include:
- Refrigerant leaks. If you had an air conditioner tune-up at the beginning of summer, your system should have been checked for refrigerant leaks. But a new leak may have developed since that time, which can lead to many different problems. If it feels like the air in your home is not as cool as it normally is, contact Jerry Kelly to have your system inspected for a refrigerant leak.
- Frozen coils. Dirt builds up on your air conditioner’s cooling coils over time, especially if you don’t change your filter or have annual tune-ups. When your cooling coils are dirty, they cannot absorb as much heat and they run the risk of freezing over. Your coils may have gotten dirty this summer, so it’s a good idea to check your system for any signs of frozen coils.
- Dirty filter. Summer can be a busy season for families, and it can be easy to forget to change your air conditioner’s filter. The longer your system runs with a dirty filter, the more likely it is to develop operational problems. If you haven’t checked on your air filter in more than a month, take a look at it now and change it if it’s dirty.
- Clogged condensate drain. Another air conditioner problem caused by dirt buildup and dirty filters is a clogged condensate drain. If your system’s drain is clogged, water will leak on and around your air conditioner. While you’re inspecting your system for frozen coils, take a look at the floor around your air conditioner for any signs of water buildup.
How to save energy with your air conditioner at the end of summer
Now that it’s getting cooler outside, there are going to be more and more days that you can open up your windows and let in some fresh air. On these cooler days, turn off your air conditioner while your windows are open to save energy. In addition, consider raising your thermostat settings at the end of summer since your home will be naturally cooler and you will likely be able to stay comfortable with warmer settings, especially when you turn on your ceiling fans.
How to “close down” your air conditioner at the end of summer
- Change your air filter so that your furnace has a fresh filter to start with when the heating season begins.
- Exam your energy bills from this past summer and consult Jerry Kelly if you see any noticeable spikes in your system’s energy consumption.
- Make note of any performance problems you experienced this summer and tell us about them during your annual furnace tune-up.
- Avoid putting a cover on your air conditioner, because a cover will allow moisture to build up in your condenser unit and will provide shelter to small animals during winter that can damage its internal components.
If you have any questions about what to do with your air conditioner at the end of summer, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area air conditioning contractor. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Clayton, Cottleville and Creve Coeur, MO.
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