Your air conditioner is likely one of the most expensive pieces of equipment in, and outside, your home. A key component – the condenser unit-- stays outdoors to release heat. After it’s worked hard all summer helping cool your home, how do you prepare this vital workhorse for winter? Cover it, and risk parts rusting under a damp cover? Leave uncovered, and let leaves, dirt, and yard debris wedge inside?
Manufacturers don’t require protecting the unit with a cover, as it’s designed to withstand the outside weather conditions of snow, rain, sleet, and winds that scatter debris. Covering the unit may trap moisture, which causes corrosion and rust.
For homeowners who insist on covering their units, mesh covers can be an option, allowing air to flow through while offering some protection from the elements. Some homeowners spray their condensers with their garden hose periodically to remove any yard waste.
However, more important air condition maintenance includes replacing the filters, and scheduling annual check-ups, to catch any problems early, when they’re more economical to fix.
“An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air-conditioning performance, while energy use steadily increases,” states Energy.gov.
“Routinely replacing the filters will enhance air flow, and help the system overall run better,” agrees Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin.
“When normal air flow is obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15 percent,” Energy.gov states.
Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 : http://doweandwagner.com/