As northwest Arkansas moves into fall and gets closer to winter, it’s a good time to think about putting your A/C to bed for the winter. Here are a few things you should do each fall to protect your air conditioner and ensure it will be ready to use when you need it again in the spring.
- Change the air filter – This is the easiest thing you can do to take care of your A/C. The air filter for your central air system should be changed every one to two months. If you have a window unit, remove the filter and wash it, making sure it’s completely dry before replacing. Many homes use the furnace blower for both the A/C and furnace, so changing the filter will ensure it’s clean and ready for the heating season as well.
- Clean the coils – Dirty coils and fins make your air conditioner work harder than necessary. Wipe away any dirt or dust on the coils with a brush, using a garden hose to wash debris off the fins of the outside condensing coils if needed.
- Remove obstructions – Remove leaves, dirt and other debris from around the base of the outdoor unit to prevent any moisture from building up. Confirm there is nothing blocking the flow of air around the unit.
- Put your window unit in storage – If you have a window air conditioner, cover or remove the unit to protect it from harsh winter weather. Once cleaned and dried, the portable A/C should be stored in a dry location for the duration of the winter. Once the unit is removed, you can use weatherstripping to make sure your window is sealed properly.
- Get a tuneup – The best way to keep your system free from trouble is to schedule regular maintenance from a professional. After your tune-up, when you know your A/C is clean and in good shape, loosely cover the outdoor unit to protect it from rain, sleet and snow. A sturdy plywood board across the top should do the trick. Just don’t tightly wrap the outside condenser, since that will lock in moisture, which will rust and deteriorate parts.
To schedule a maintenance visit before you put your air conditioner to rest for the winter, contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We’ve been providing expert service to communities in northwest Arkansas since 1968.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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