Whats in your Air Conditioner?
When you buy a centralized air conditioning system for your home, sometimes you wind up getting more than what you bargained for. To be specific, the system may have something extra in the way of dirt and other contaminants. These foreign items tend to degrade performance, causing the air conditioner to work less efficiently. They may even damage or destroy the equipment.
If you haven't been paying much attention to the equipment since having it installed, or if you haven't run your air conditioning in a while, chances are that it has accumulated dirt, sand, leaves, rocks or other debris. You might even discover that some curious but unlucky animals have managed to get caught inside.
Dirt, Debris and Sand
The condenser unit, which usually is outside in the backyard or is positioned on a side of the house, is mounted in a protective structure but there are holes through which dirt, dust, sand and other debris can easily get in.
This underscores the importance of arranging to have a qualified, professional technician come to your home every year to do inspections, cleaning and maintenance.
Leaves and Rocks
A tree with branches hanging directly over your condenser unit can easily shed leaves, dropping them on top of and into the unit. Rocks kicked up by kids running around or ricocheting off of a lawnmower can also find their way into the equipment.
While you can trim your tree and rake the leaves as much as possible, you cannot control the entire neighborhood, so you can always expect to see some pebbles, leaves and other tiny items making their way into the system.
Snakes and Other Small Animals
You might be surprised that small animals, such as mice, rats and snakes may find their way into the equipment. When they look for shelter from the elements or are hiding from a predator, little creatures will crawl through a slot or other small opening. If they get stuck inside, the damage can be quite unpredictable, but you can count on there being something of a mess to take care of. A professional will need to inspect the equipment and make sure it is still functioning properly once the critter has been removed.
If small animals are a recurring problem, consider hiring a pest control professional to consult with you on changes you can make to keep critters off of your property, preventing them from being a nuisance and injuring your AC system.
Shutting Down for Winter
If you don't plan on using your air conditioner during the winter, you can turn off its power. First, though, either you or a professional will need to make sure it is clean. Rake the ground around the unit to get rid of leaves and other debris from a few feet around the equipment. You also need to sweep out debris from the unit.
Then, you can place an air conditioner cover over the equipment to protect it from contaminants while you're not using it during the cold months.
At David Gray Heating & Air, our years of experience installing, maintaining and fixing air conditioners have shown us just how poorly an AC system will perform if it isn't cleaned on a regular basis. For more information on what you can do to keep your equipment running in tip-top shape or to schedule an appointment to have your system inspected and cleaned, please contact the experts at David Gray Heating & Air today.