Now that it’s late October, the usual spate of Fall Maintenance and Autumn Housekeeping advisories should be surfacing on the web, newspapers, and airwaves. These are the wakeup calls aimed at homeowners nationwide—annual cautions about how winter weather can inflict various categories of damage on Chicago properties that don’t heed the proffered advice.
But at least one October maintenance tip is often missing from the fall checklists. Not surprisingly, it’s also one that many Chicago homeowners forget to act upon. That’s probably because the targeted maintenance item is for an appliance that gets our attention in the summertime: central air conditioner units. Along with their increasingly popular alter egos—ductless AC “splits”— these appliances command less than front-burner attention as autumn weather lowers the temperature. But every HVAC professional will argue that now is the time to ensure a trouble-free AC revival when spring rolls around.
Since every Chicago household’s equipment differs, the exact winterizing procedures will differ. Yet, since the dust and dirt that are the core enemies of every AC system, especially as October winds cause autumnal debris to fill the air, it is a good time to clear the condenser fins and coils before preparing to cover up the units. Some sites recommend checking the coolant pressure at this point, but most others agree that a pro’s springtime maintenance checkup should suffice. Everyone recommends that annual preventive visit, though—lacking upkeep, most units lose roughly 5% efficiency per year.
Well-maintained air conditioning equipment lasts a lot longer than its neglected brethren, so Chicago homeowners who take the few minutes now can plan on a long-term benefit. And when the time to sell your home approaches, it’s one area that won’t need costly replacement. When that time comes, I hope you’ll give me a call!