Closing up your AC for the Winter
Time to switch over to heat now that November is here. Don't just switch off your AC, though, and assume it will make it through the winter. There are some maintenance tasks you should perform to ensure it will be in optimal working condition come late spring. Failure to perform basic maintenance at the end of the season means you could face larger issues when you go to turn it back on next year. Here are some preventative maintenance tasks you should perform before winter sets in.
1. Replace the filter. To make sure you have a clean filter when you want to use the AC next, take out the dirty one and put in a clean one. A clean filter translates to better efficiency, which translates to lower energy bills and the less likelihood of repairs later. The simple act of replacing your dirty filter with a new one will reduce your air conditioner's energy consumption by five to 15 percent, according to Energy.gov.
2. Inspect for leaks. Check for pooling water within the unit or immediately around the unit. Repair leaks now or provide parts replacement to fix the problem now rather than later.
3. Replace worn belts. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as breaks and holes. Replace now rather than later.
4. Lubricate moving parts. Any parts that aren't properly lubricated can lead to friction within the motors, thereby increasing the amount of electricity used.
5. Test the thermostat to ensure your unit will run efficiently and achieve desired home comfort later.
6. Clean the condenser and check coolant lines. Turn the unit off and remove the side panels of the condenser. Use a vacuum attachment to brush off the coils and fan blades. Check for clogs and clean out the drain. Plugged drains can lead to water damageand can adversely affect indoor humidity levels. For the coolant lines, make sure the coolant tubes have proper insulation; replace as needed.
7. Check refrigerant level and adjust if needed. Too much or too little refrigerant will reduce the life of the equipment and cause the unit to work harder than it should.
Lack of Maintenance
If you fail to perform the above maintenance checks when closing down your AC for the winter, you could face a variety of problems later. These include:
- Unit does not work at all
- Unit performs inefficiently
- Large temperature fluctuations
- Dripping water and leaks
- Strange noises
All of these issues should be addressed right away by a professional skilled in AC maintenance. If you have a window unit, it's best to remove and store it for the winter. Take this time to clean the AC unit with a damp rag to remove dust and dirt, then place it in the original box it came in for safe storage. If you have an outdoor central AC unit, place a hard cover over the top to keep leaves and other debris from getting inside.
Don't have time to do all this? Call TDI Air for a maintenance appointment now so we can help you close up your AC for the winter.