Fall and winter are on their way in. If you live anywhere where cold weather, snow and ice can wrap around your central air conditioner's condenser, you should be thinking of seasonal maintenance and protection. These are cooling services provided by an HVAC contractor from a company like MD AIR Heating and Cooling, LLC, and they do not take up more than an hour of your time. If you have never requested these services before (for whatever reason), here is what you can generally expect to receive in this service package.
An Inspection of All of the Outdoor Components
When the HVAC contractor/technician arrives, he or she will remove the vented box from around the condenser. Then he/she will examine all of the components located here, which includes the evaporator, the coolant container, the lines that run from the coolant to the evaporator, the "fins" (which are the fine metal blades surrounding the condenser box), the large fan at the top, the platform on which it all sits and the lines that run into the house. If anything looks shot or worn, the HVAC technician will make a note of it and tell you. If not, he or she moves on to the next step in this service.
Cleaning the Condenser Unit
The unit is thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed free of all debris and dirt. Cleaning the condenser unit helps it run more efficiently next summer and prevents smaller allergen particles from entering your home. This part of the service is usually what takes up most of the time, so once the unit is pronounced clean, there is not much left for the technician to do.
Filling the Coolant
Most homeowners are surprised to find that their air conditioners do not have an infinite supply of coolant. It actually should be refilled annually or bi-annually so that you do not run out and then you would have to place an emergency call at the start or middle of the air conditioning season. Your technician will check and refill the coolant as needed.
Checking the Fuses and the Electrical Wiring
On this second-to-last step, the technician will check the fuse box located on the side of your house near the condenser. He or she will pull out the fuses and test them, then pop them back into the fuse box. He or she will then check all of the wiring because rodents love to chew on plastic-coated electrical wiring. If it all looks good, the technician moves to the last step.
Covering the Unit for Winter
Not all HVAC contractors and technicians have this as part of their fall maintenance packages for cooling systems. If your technician does, he or she will provide a cover of some sort for your condenser. This could include a plastic cover that goes over the top and bolts down, or a tarp wrap-around that is secured with bungee cords.