Prepare your home for winter with HVAC maintenance and protection for your air conditioning unit. Even in mild winter climates like Jacksonville, Florida, air conditioning systems benefit from winterized care. When you protect your HVAC system from the elements, you extend the life of your unit and prevent the need for repairs. Save money and inconvenience with scheduled HVAC maintenance and winterization for your air conditioner.
Steps to Winterize Your Jacksonville Air Conditioning Unit
Schedule Seasonal HVAC Maintenance
The best way to prepare your air conditioner for winter is with scheduled preventative HVAC maintenance. Regular seasonal maintenance helps identify problems or needed repairs in order to avoid more costly and inconvenient issues later. Also, HVAC maintenance includes system cleaning and usually air filter replacement. By scheduling fall HVAC maintenance, you can prepare your furnace for winter and protect your air conditioning unit throughout the year.
Clean Unit Located Outside
Many air conditioning systems are two-part units. The outside portion of the unit is called the air conditioning condenser. This part of the unit contains special components, including a compressor, fins, a fan and tubes. The outdoor condenser receives more wear and tear from the elements than the interior portion of the unit. At the end of the summer season, clean the outdoor unit. For your safety, shut off the system before you start. Remove any debris and built-up grime. Then, use a hose to rinse off the unit.
Cover the Outside Air Conditioning Condenser
Once you’ve cleaned the AC condenser, allow the unit to dry. After the condenser is dry, cover the unit. Most hardware stores carrier covers for outdoor AC units. The cover can be used throughout the winter to protect the equipment from damage. Also, the covers are relatively easy to remove if unseasonably warm weather moves through and you need to turn on your AC unit. The important thing is to protect your system in order to avoid repairs and extend the life of your unit.
Change the Air Filter
If you’ve scheduled HVAC maintenance, then your air filter was likely changed. However, if not, change your air filter before you turn on your furnace. Clean air filters improve HVAC energy efficiency, which saves money in utility costs. Also, clean air filter allow air to move more freely through your HVAC unit. This means your system doesn’t have to work as hard to heat or cool your home. Since it’s recommended to change your air filter every one to three months, the change of seasons is the perfect time to also change your air filter.
Repair Any Maintenance Issues
Maintenance issues won’t fix themselves. Instead, they are likely to worsen over time. Don’t put off needed repairs until the spring. Deal with the issues before you shut down your air conditioning unit for the winter. Many of the issues causing your AC trouble may also impact your heating system. When repairs are addressed at the start of an issue, instead of when the system is totally broken, they usually cost less to fix. Stay on top of maintenance issues in order to protect your HVAC unit.
Clean Air Vents
When you switch your HVAC system from cooling to heating, do the proper cleaning. This including cleaning the air vents or registers in your home. It’s easy to clean air vents. Simply vacuum out the vents. If dust is built up, use a damp cloth to wipe the surface of the vent, then allow to dry completely to avoid rust. Cleaning your air vents improves air quality in your home. This can be especially important as you prepare for winter because many people spend more time indoors during the winter months.
As you prepare your air conditioner for winter, inspect your attic insulation to ensure proper coverage. Especially if you felt like your AC unit had to work harder to cool your home, you may have an insulation problem. Over time, insulation compacts and needs replacement. J&W Heating and Air offers blown-in fiberglass insulation installation.
Reprogram Your Thermostat
The settings for your thermostat should be different for winter and summer in order to maximize energy efficiency. For example, during the summer months you may set your thermostat temperature higher at 72 degrees. While during the winter months, you may set it lower at 68 degrees. The fluctuation in temperature isn’t that great, but the energy savings will add up over time.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
If you don’t already own a smart, programmable thermostat, do so when you prepare your AC for winter. Smart thermostats add energy efficiency, which saves homeowners money. Also, smart thermostats are affordable and pay for themselves quickly. The customization and convenient remote access created with a smart thermostat gives you more control over the cooling and heating of your home.
Turn Off Your Air Conditioner
Remember to turn off the power to your air conditioning unit. For most units, you need to switch the setting to heat in order for your furnace to start heating your home. Don’t wait until the first cold snap winterize your HVAC system. Instead, start early and have your unit ready for winter.
Contact J&W Heating and Air to schedule preventative HVAC maintenance. We work with our clients in Jacksonville, Florida to help prepare your air conditioning unit for winter. Allow our expert technicians to keep your home in top shape. Whether you need HVAC repairs, new insulation or a new HVAC unit, we’re here to help. Contact us today!