What To Do With Your Air Conditioner When Summer Ends

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The end of a long productive summer means your air conditioning system deserves to rest while your focus shifts to home heating. The plunging temperatures allow you to switch your cooling unit off without feeling uncomfortable. Make sure you don’t just turn off your AC and forget about it. You should close it down properly while aiming to extend its service life and set it up for another run. This article discusses several effective end of summer AC tips.

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What To Do With Your Air Conditioner When Summer Ends

Keep reading to explore essential tips for homeowners who wish to take good care of their air conditioners.

Related Article: How To Prevent Your Air Conditioner From Freezing Up

How to Close Down the Air Conditioner

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Here are the steps for closing down your cooling system:

  • Review Energy Bills: Gather all documents linked to your home’s energy use in the past several months. Compare them with the bills from the previous year. Check for any significant increases. Assess if the changes are reasonable with regard to your appliances and consumption patterns. Consult an HVAC technician if there are unexpected spikes in energy use. 
  • Cooling System Issues: You should write down air conditioner problems you encounter throughout the summer. If you haven’t started recording, create one now and note any issues you may still remember. Use these notes so your HVAC technician stays informed during yearly maintenance visits.
  • Don’t Use An Air Conditioner Cover: You may be tempted to cover your outdoor cooling unit to protect it when winter arrives. This may sound logical, but it can work against you. Covering your unit can trap moisture and damage the internal parts. Remember that your air conditioner is designed to handle exposure to extreme winter conditions. You only need to ensure that the surroundings of the compressor are clean and debris-free. 
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Common Air Conditioner Problems to Look For

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Summer can be stressful for air conditioners. They work hard day after day to ensure the house stays cool. When fall arrives, you should assess whether or not common air conditioner issues have developed in the last several months. Early diagnosis means immediate solutions. Some of the issues that some homeowners experience include:

  • Frozen Air Conditioner Coils: Dirt floating in the air can land on coils and accumulate a thick insulation layer as time passes. Dirty coils cannot work as efficiently when transferring heat, causing surfaces to freeze. If you notice signs of freezing, call an HVAC technician for assistance.
  • Dirty HVAC Filters: Air filters capture dirt. Unlike the coils, dirt accumulation is expected on the filters because that means they are doing their jobs. However, be wary of their limits. Excess dirt will result in restricted airflow, so you must change filters at least once a month or as needed.
  • Clogged Air Conditioner Drains: Vapor condensing around the cold coils should flow smoothly down the internal drains. However, dirt can cause clogs that retain water inside the unit, resulting in overflows. If you have a leaking air conditioner, it may have a clogged drain. Contact your local HVAC technician for system cleanup.
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Post-Summer Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Habitually do an air conditioner tune-up after summer. You can conduct a DIY, but you will likely get better results when you hire an HVAC professional. They can spot symptoms that amateurs will miss. They can also conduct quick HVAC repairs as needed. 

  • Listen To Your Air Conditioning Unit: Switch on your air conditioner and listen. Strange noises are an indicator that the system is having problems. A quiet and uniform hum is expected in an air conditioner‘s smooth operations. However, loud sounds like wheezing, screeching, clicking, and banging from your air conditioner require a deeper investigation to find the source.  
  • Check the Air Conditioner Connections: The electrical system of your air conditioner also deserves attention. Make sure that the power is turned off to prevent accidents before starting. It is recommended to let a trained technician handle the issue for safety. They can check the wires’ condition and continuity of connections. They can change damaged parts to avoid dangers like fires. They can also repair short circuits, faulty capacitors, and other electrical problems. 
  • Clean the Air Conditioner Coils: Make sure to clean the coils. This way, dirt doesn’t stick to the surface. You should also get rid of debris that has gotten into the system. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove foreign materials along the fins. Trim any bushes and weeds close to the outdoor unit to reduce debris.  
  • Check the Thermostat: The thermostat controls the air conditioner, so make sure it works properly. Change the batteries if their power levels are low. Reprogram the unit from summer settings to fall settings. Remember that each season has an optimal usage pattern. 
  • Get Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance: These may also seem overwhelming but don’t panic. You aren’t supposed to do them alone. You can ask for assistance from your local, trusted HVAC technician, and they can do the tasks listed here. Technicians can also provide you with practical advice to prevent cooling system issues. 

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Consider a Cooling System Upgrade

The end of summer means you can assess if it is still worth keeping your old air conditioner. Check how old the unit will be this year. Most air conditioners can work for up to a decade with proper maintenance. If your system is old and suffers from breakdowns often, replacing your old air conditioner is a good idea. This way, you can stop worrying about rising HVAC repair bills. A new air conditioner will work smoothly while providing higher energy efficiency and better features. 

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Schedule a Heating System Tune-up

The plunging temperatures mean that winter is coming fast. You can shift your focus to your heating system after you’ve dealt with your air conditioner. Book a professional boiler or furnace maintenance service to ready it for the coming season. Repair all problems in the fall, so you don’t have to worry about a malfunctioning heating unit when the weather gets cold. You should also stock up on fuel in your oil tank. 

Related Article: What To Check When Your Air Conditioner Won’t Turn On


Hot summers are made bearable with the help of air conditioners. These units work hard so our homes stay cool and comfortable. You should check your cooling system when summer ends. Fall maintenance helps keep your air conditioner running for years to come. Ask for professional help from a certified HVAC technician. They can conduct a thorough inspection and provide immediate solutions.

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