Preparing Your A/C and Heating System for a Drop in Temperature
Summer has officially come to a close, and with this comes cold weather and seasonal chores. During the summer, your air conditioner will have been working hard to keep you cool from the high temperatures. After all the work your unit has done for you, fall is the perfect time to prepare your AC and HVAC system for the dropping temperature.
Many homeowners overlook this seasonal routine. Pre-winter AC prep may be the last thing on your to-do list, and it may be a little time consuming, but it’s important that you follow the steps below during this transition from summer to fall. Find more here
● Turn off the power to your air conditioner
Most central air conditioners have exterior circuits where the power runs to the unit. As fall arrives, it’s time to turn off the power to the system. There should be a box on the outside of your home that’s near the AC unit – they often have a red circuit handle. Once you’ve found the box, pull out the circuit, flip it upside down and put it back into the slot. The power is now turned off, and you can close the box.
By turning off the power, it will stop the system from being accidentally turned on during the winter. It can also help prevent your unit from being damaged, if the AC is turned on, and the water from the unit becomes exposed to the low temperatures, it can become frozen then damage the condenser inside of the air conditioner.
● Clean the outside unit of your AC
During the summer, you regularly cut your lawn, and as fall begins to set in, the trees shed their leaves – this means a lot of debris will have built up around your outdoor unit. Remove any debris from the unit and cut back any trees or shrubbery that are close to your AC.
Clean the fan blades and the condensing coils of your unit with a high-pressure hose. You want to make sure that all of the debris is removed so during the winter it doesn’t blow underneath the AC. If debris is left, it can freeze during the winter and cause complications when summer comes back around.
● Inspect your unit for damage or cracks
When you’ve turned off the power and cleaned your unit, inspect it for any damage. If you notice any cracks, rust or damage, call out your local air con expert to resolve the issue before the cold, harsh winter sets in.
● Cover your air conditioning unit
Once you’ve followed the AC tips above, shelter the unit for the winter. Depending on the size of your unit, you can purchase coverslips for your system. To prevent any moisture from becoming trapped inside of the cover, make sure that you have at least 12 inches of the coil exposed – this allows the air to circulate during the cold seasons.
You can also put some plywood on the top of your unit, not only does this allow your air conditioner to breathe, but it also protects it from any debris or falling ice. You need to make sure that the unit doesn’t become stuffy when you cover it. Otherwise, you may find a moldy AC unit next summer.
● Keep an eye on your AC during the winter
Throughout the winter, don’t forget about your air conditioner, keep an eye on it. When snow or ice build up on your unit, you should get into the habit of removing it. Clearing off the extra weight will prevent any damage to the air conditioner.
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