This winter, your outdoor air conditioning unit likely took a beating. That makes it a priority when you address air conditioning and other maintenance for HVAC systems in Altoona, PA before summer starts. Once you have it ready for the hot temperatures, you must continue to be vigilant in the care of your outdoor unit, or you may find yourself in an overheated home. Here are the maintenance tasks you can start on your outdoor unit today:
- Remove dirt and ice: Dirt, leaves, ice and loose twigs can test the most durable outdoor units. While they are made to stand up to the rigors of outside, that does not mean the conditions will not pressure it. Leaves are especially onerous because they tend to block filters and get stuck for the entire season. Start by defrosting ice from it and removing excess dirt. Once spring and yard work season begins, start by clearing overgrowth around your unit. Change filters you can access and assure any vents remain unimpeded. As you continue with spring and summer fun, be careful with cutting tools, and do not direct grass at it as you mow.
- Get plants under control: Some types of plants, like shrubs, provide a good windbreak. But there is a delicate balance between protection of the outdoor unit and crowding it. Keep shrubs trimmed now and throughout the summer. Not only can they block airflow, but they will also drop leaves into the filters, which can cause problems. Also, check to make sure the plants do not grow into the coils or fan. This often causes most breakdowns. If plants died near the unit during winter, remove them immediately so they do not continue dropping debris into it.
- Supervise pets: In the cold days of winter, you likely let your dog outside and never knew where he finished his business. This may result in an unpleasant surprise when you uncover and clean your outdoor unit: dog urine. Allowing this behavior to continue risks electric shorts and poor air quality. If you find this is an issue, build a barrier around the outdoor unit or even consider adding more shrubs. Even if you do not have pets, this requires consideration. Raccoons, opossums and other wildlife can also damage your unit.
- Check the base: If you placed your outdoor unit directly on the ground and left it there all winter, you will likely find issues that require our attention. Access to dirt leaves it vulnerable to debris and insects. Add a stone or concrete base to protect it, or at least set it on a pallet so it is not in direct contact with the ground. The outdoor unit must also be level to function well through the summer. A base helps with that as well.
- Do not stack things on the outdoor unit: If debris accumulated on top of the outdoor unit, remove it. Then continue that pattern through the summer. Toys, garden hoses and yard tools do not belong on top of your outdoor unit. It does not make a good table, especially if the fan is located on the top. If this becomes a habit, your outdoor unit will lose efficiency and airflow. Avoid this pattern by never beginning it in the first place!
If you require assistance with air conditioning or other maintenance for HVAC systems in Altoona, PA, call Caporuscio Plumbing & Heating Inc. today.