How To Keep Your Air Conditioner In Great Shape When Not In Use

When it comes time to turn off your air conditioner, whether it's for the rest of the year or during a vacation, you can usually leave it alone until it comes to turn it back on again. However, there are a few things you can do to help keep your system in good shape while it's not in use, avoid doing anything that may damage it, and save yourself a little money in the meantime.

Cover Your Condenser, But Only The Top

It can be tempting to cover your outdoor condenser if it won't be in use for a while, but using a cover can actually cause more harm than good. Condenser units are designed to withstand extreme heat and cold and rain and snow, and the most important components are shielded inside the condenser. Using a cover may keep your condenser mostly dry, but it can actually cause trouble by holding moisture in rather than letting it air out, and mold in your air conditioning system is something to avoid at all costs. Further, covers can make your condenser an appealing location for pests seeking refuge from the weather.

The best way to protect your condenser from the elements is to place a solid protectant on top of it like a sheet of plywood. This will protect your condenser from being damaged by any impacts from things like hail but will let your condenser keep itself aired out and less of an appealing prospect for hopeful pests.

Run The Air Conditioner, Not The Fan

Before you shut off your air conditioner for the last time, make sure that the actual air conditioner is running and not just the fan. This is important because, when an air conditioner runs, it removes moisture from the air before sending the cooled air into your home. If your thermostat is set to run the fan, your system will still push air through your vents, but without the added benefit of removing moisture. If you live in a damp, humid area, this could push moist air through your vents without giving them a chance to dry out.

To keep your vents and your condenser in good shape, run your air conditioner for about twenty minutes before shutting it off. This will let plenty of dry air pass through your system and reduce the risk of mold.

Schedule Maintenance Before Restarting

While your condenser is meant to withstand the brunt of the elements, it still needs a good cleaning and some service now and then. The best time to get this service is once a year in the spring before you turn your air conditioner on for the first time. A typical service visit will consist of cleaning off your condenser to rid of it dirt and debris that can reduce efficiency, checking coolant levels, and sometimes changing your air filter. 

It's also good to get this service done early to catch any potential problems that might cause your air conditioner to break down during the heat of summer. In addition, demand for service is down during cooler months, which means you can save yourself some money by booking early.

For more information, contact a company like Weather Control Air Conditioning, Inc.