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Fall Care of Your Central Air

Summer is in its waning days, and the air is turning cooler. You might have actually turned off the air conditioner and just let it stay at the ambient temperature in your home. But before you say "see you later" to your central air unit, it needs a little TLC in the fall. Here are some tips to care for your unit so that when warm weather arrives again next year, it'll be in tip-top condition to work efficiently.

1. Clean out the area around the unit. 

During the year, bushes can start to grow towards your unit, leaves can blow in, or small twigs can get lodged in places, causing its efficiency to be affected. Clear debris from around the unit and keep vegetation at least 2 feet away.

2. Call in the pros.

Once a year, have a licensed professional perform a full inspection on your air conditioning units. This will involve cleaning and flushing the condenser coils, draining the pan and drainage system, vacuuming the blower compartments, and checking the refrigerant and mechanical parts.

It’s also worth asking them to check the ductwork, especially if your cooling bills have been higher than normal. Up to 30 to 40 percent of energy can escape through leaky or uninsulated ducts. And if your home also has forced-air heat that uses the same ductwork, sealing leaks and adding insulation could end up paying for itself in just a few years.

Did you know that routine maintenance checkups can actually increase the life span of your unit and help you save money over time? If you want to prevent your air conditioning from breaking down on a hot summer day, maintenance is key.

In addition, with a properly functioning air conditioner, you’ll benefit from better air quality, which translates to reduced allergy symptoms for the entire household or office.

But what about covering the unit for the winter? It's a good question. Your central air conditioning unit consists of a compressor and condensing unit placed outdoors in a metal housing. These units, built to resist the weather, generally do not need a cover. In fact, covers can cause problems because they trap moisture and create an inviting winter home for small animals. If you need to protect the top from falling leaves, icicles or other debris, a piece of wood with something heavy like a brick or stone to weigh it down will work.

Let us help you catch small issues before they escalate and cause costly emergency breakdowns. If you are concerned about the health of your commercial or residential HVAC system, give Shakley Mechanical a call! We have HVAC maintenance services provided in the Mansfield and Ashland areas, and surrounding communities.

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