Seasonal AC Maintenance Tips for Illinois Homes

It’s incredibly important for homeowners to maintain an air conditioning unit, particularly for Illinois residents, who can see the weather make incredible swings from one half of the day to the next, not to mention season to season. Seasonal AC maintenance isn’t just about making sure the AC works, it’s about making sure it’s ready to perform optimally even in the peak heat of middle and late summer. It’s about taking a proactive approach to keep your AC running smoothly.

Whether it’s waking up your system in spring to get it ready for the work ahead, or giving it a once-over in autumn to ensure it’s ready to face our periodically brutal winter weather in its dormancy. In this post, we’re going to look at five of the biggest maintenance tips for Illinois homeowners to keep their AC in optimal condition, for as long as possible.

Why Seasonal Maintenance is Important

Illinois residents need to pay attention to seasonal AC maintenance because of the substantial changes in temperature and overall weather conditions that we can see, from our hot, humid summers to incredibly frigid winters. Regular maintenance gives your system a chance to adapt to these changes with more efficiency and effectiveness without getting overworked. This reduces the amount of wear and tear the system sees, which can help lower the chance of significant and costly breakdowns and extend the general life expectancy of the unit.

Additionally, a system that’s running more efficiently to maintain the needed climate will use less energy to do so, which directly translates to lower utility bills and a lower environmental impact. Seasonal performance checks and maintenance servicing can also help detect smaller issues before they turn into major problems, like topping off refrigerant levels in the summer or making sure the system is free of blockages or external obstacles. Having a clear understanding of why seasonal maintenance is important and putting effective maintenance schedules in place can help make sure your AC is ready to provide consistent comfort anytime you need it.

5 Seasonal AC Maintenance Tips for Illinois Homes

Spring Preparation

While it may take Illinois a while to shake off the full effects of winter, preparing your AC for the spring and its sometimes summerlike temperatures is crucial. Start with a visual inspection of all components of the AC unit, both inside the home and outside, for dirt and potential damage.

Then, remove any covers installed to protect the unit during the off-season, and clear away any debris or detritus to ensure the unit has clear and unobstructed airflow. This is also a great time to test the

system by turning it on early in the season to evaluate how it starts and runs early in the season. This will give you plenty of time to contact a professional for repairs before they start hitting their peak scheduling season when appointments are going to be harder to come by.

Finally, schedule a pro to stop by for a pre-season checkup. They’ll make sure the refrigerant levels are good, as well as double-check all of the electrical connections to eliminate any major issues early on.

Summer Upkeep

Summer in Illinois can be brutal, and this is when your AC works the hardest, so it should also mean you’re paying close attention to the maintenance needs of the unit. To keep the unit operating at peak efficiency, be sure you regularly clean or replace air filters, ideally, every month, to prevent clogging and straining the system.

Be sure the condensation drain is clear, and that it drains where you want it to. Summer is the perfect time to have a coil deep cleaning done, to make sure they are doing all they can to cool the house. Dirty coils can kill efficiency and increase energy bills.

Fall Care

While the AC unit may not get used as heavily in the fall, in many parts of Illinois we can see summer temperatures well beyond Labor Day. However, as the demand placed on your AC starts to wane, it’s time to get it ready for the off-season. Start with a good cleaning, particularly the fan blades and coils. Also, be sure all windows and doors in the home are sealed well from drafts and thermal transfer, so you keep the warm air in and cold air out during the upcoming winter.

It’s also typically a good idea to get a cover for your condenser unit if you don’t have one already and cover it for the fall and winter. This will help safeguard it from fall debris and winter ice, both of which can cause damage during the off-season.

Winterization

Getting your AC ready for the challenges of an Illinois winter is critical to keeping it safe from the rigors of freezing temperatures and occasionally staggering amounts of snow. First, make sure the unit is cleaned free of debris, and covered. Then, inspect the seals around the home to prevent drafts.

Year-Round Maintenance

While your AC has seasonal needs, some maintenance tasks need to be done continually, throughout the year. One of the most important is checking and replacing air filters. Most filters are good for a month, though some will last as long as three before needing to be replaced. Replacing the filters will keep your indoor air quality cleaner, and will put less strain on the fan motor circulating the air in your home.

Final Thoughts

Seasonal and regular AC maintenance is critical, especially for Illinois’ homeowners, who know better than anyone what kind of weather we can face even during a mild year. By making sure you stick to a maintenance routine for each season, such as spring preparation and late-fall winterization, and by taking care of regular ongoing maintenance throughout the year, you can have a substantial effect on extending the lifespan of your AC while also helping it run more efficiently. In the end, partnering with a local professional adds an additional layer of expertise and reliability, while making sure your DIY efforts haven’t missed anything.

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