You probably don’t think much about your air conditioner after Labor Day. When it starts getting chilly, it’s time for a heater tune-up to get ready for the temperature drop.
Once you’re done with your central air, the last step should be to winterize it before the cold really comes in.
In this article, we’ll explain what we mean by winterizing your air conditioner. Then, we’ll go through the four significant benefits you’ll get from it.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, or want to set up a heating or air conditioning service appointment for your home in Havertown, PA, call or email us here at John Cipollone.
AC Maintenance in the Fall Gets Your Central Air Ready for Winter
We’re not talking about doing anything complicated or technical. You can handle most of this yourself. But, you can also call us for quick AC maintenance at the same time you’re getting your heater tune-up. That way, you know your central air is hunkered down for the winter.
One of the most critical and straightforward steps to this process is putting a cover on your outdoor condenser once you’re done using it for the year.
Even just a fairly thin vinyl covering goes a long way toward protecting the unit from all sorts of harmful elements. Remember, the top is open for exhaust. You can look right down to see everything inside it.
With a covering, you’ll avoid snow piling up and resting on the fan. It keeps trash and lawn clippings or debris from building up around it. And, you’ll prevent small animals from making nests in it for the winter.
Next, clean away any twigs, leaves, trash, or other items from around the condenser. It’s common for this stuff to get blown around and trapped in between your house and the unit.
If you don’t already have insulation around the pipes, put a foam sleeve around the lines running from the unit to the house.
Finally, shut off the power to the condenser altogether. To do this, find the electric panel on the outside of the unit. There should be a clearly-marked kill switch in there.
Again, you can always call a professional if you don’t want to mess with the lines or electrical components. But, even just cleaning off the unit and throwing a cover over it goes a long way.
Four Reasons to Winterize Your Air Conditioner This Fall
Four big benefits to winterizing your air conditioner in the fall are:
Preventing damage to your unit
Better comfort in the warm weather
Lower energy bills in the summer
Preventing Damage to Your Unit
The elements can take a toll on an outdoor HVAC unit. Sure, it’s exposed to rain during the summer. It has to be — you need air circulating around the condenser for it to work correctly.
But, winter is much harsher. And, since you’re not using it at all, take the opportunity to protect it.
Eventually, exposure to rain will cause rust to form on the unit. Then, you’re dealing with snow in the winter. Along with moisture, snow and ice can build up on the grating and the fan. Too much weight and the fan blades can bend.
Meanwhile, a condenser is an attractive home for rodents and other small creatures. They’re protected from the elements, and it’s warmer than outside. But, mice, squirrels, and the like can cause plenty of damage.
The last thing you want is for an animal to make a nest in the condenser. It’ll be a huge problem once you want to turn it on. And, those critters as liable to chew through wiring, causing damage.
Better Comfort in the Warm Weather
In some ways, you’d be lucky if a lack of off-season AC maintenance caused the system not to work when needed. That way, you’d know instantly that something’s wrong, and you’d get it fixed.
But, the problem could be much subtler. Then, you may spend a month or two feeling uncomfortable in the house before realizing you should call for air conditioning service.
For instance, it’s common for people to feel a little sick when they first turn on their air conditioner. All sorts of dust and junk settle in your ductwork over months when you haven’t used the HVAC system.
Once you fire up your forced-air unit again, it all comes blowing into the house. That can trigger allergies or even just a general “unwell” feeling.
But, the problem gets worse when you add organic matter into the mix. Dirt, grass, and leaves will break down over the fall and winter. That could make condenser and area around it a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
When you turn on the system, those microorganisms can easily make their way into the air circulating through the system. Then, it blows into your house.
The same could go for any remnants from animals that nested and then passed away and decomposed. It’s gross but common — you may even notice a smell coming through the vents.
Lower Energy Bills in the Summer
In general, an HVAC unit in good shape does not need as much power — electric, gas, oil, whatever — to do the job. That’s a big part of why tune-ups in the fall and spring are essential. And, when it comes to the AC, a little bit of prevention in the cold weather.
All the problems we outlined here can also drive up your electric bill. Anything that clogs the system, weakens the airflow, or affects the power supply can cause your AC to use more electricity as it struggles to keep up.
So, keep your bills low with tune-ups and winterization.
Air Conditioner Service in Havertown, PA
Making sure your central air is ready for next summer starts at the end of this year’s warm season! Be sure to take a few minutes to get your system ready for hibernation. And, don’t hesitate to call John Cipollone for air conditioner service in Havertown, PA.