Now that the leaves are changing and temperatures slowly dropping, you should start considering preparing your home’s central air-conditioning system for the off season. Following are some tried-and-true recommendations for getting your air conditioner ready for winter.
- Fairly soon, you’ll decide it’s doubtful you’ll need your A/C again until next spring. When that time arrives, go ahead and cover the outside unit (the condenser/compressor unit). Your home’s heating system doesn’t need that component (unless you cool and heat your home with an air-source heat pump). Some home improvement and HVAC outlets sell specially made covers for A/C outside units. These contain openings to allow essential airflow into the machinery. Some air is necessary in order to keep trapped moisture from damaging the machinery. The good news is that a workable alternative to a custom-made cover is just placing a piece of plywood or other flat impermeable object across the top of the outside unit.
- Change the air conditioner’s air filter (unless you’ve just changed it recently). It’s best to have a fresh filter installed so it will be ready next spring when the weather warms up. If your A/C filter also serves as a furnace filter, just continue the recommended regimen of checking the filter monthly and changing it when it looks dirty.
- Inspect the area around the outside A/C unit to make sure it’s clear of any yard debris (downed limbs, dead leaves, etc.) that might get blown into the outside unit during the long winter. Check and clear the area regularly until spring.
- If you’re handy with machinery, clean the inside and outside coils of your central air conditioner. When the coils get dirty, the heat-exchange process that provides home cooling gets restricted, forcing the equipment to work harder than necessary. If in doubt, have this work done during a seasonal HVAC maintenance visit (you should schedule professional maintenance before the heating season starts anyway).
If you’d like to discuss scheduling a maintenance tuneup on your home’s HVAC system, please contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We provide quality service to Monmouth County and surrounding communities.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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