As the calendar pages turn and the annual transition from the cooling season to the heating season arrives, it’s time to winterize your HVAC system. Your central air conditioner’s about to go into hibernation for the next six months. To make sure the A/C withstands the winter and is ready for operation at start-up next spring, a few items need to be on the to-do list this fall. Here are some important priorities to take care of in order to winterize your HVAC system.
At the the indoor air handler:
- Change the air filter. Your air conditioner and furnace share the same filter. Don’t start the winter heating system with a dirty, clogged filter left over from summer operation. Continue to check the filter monthly and change it at least every other month.
- Check the condensate collection pan underneath the air handler. It’s normal for the pan to be wet after air conditioner operation but you shouldn’t see standing water remaining in the pan—usually a sign of a clogged condensate drain. Over the winter, it will stagnate and promote mold growth. Call for qualified HVAC service to diagnose and resolve the issue.
At the outdoor condenser unit:
- Clear away encroaching vegetation that may have grown up around the unit during the summer. Make at least two feet of clear space on all sides.
- Check the top fan grille as well as the side vents for leaves, twigs or other obstructions and clear them out.
- If you have a outdoor cover fitted for the make and model of your A/C, place it over the unit once you’re certain you won’t be using the A/C again until next spring. Be sure to remove the cover if you decide to start the unit at any time for any reason. Leaving it in place can cause system damage.
Once the air conditioner’s ready for a long winter’s sleep, remember to also schedule a professional annual tune-up for your furnace to ensure maximum heating reliability and efficiency over the coming season.
Contact Detmer and Sons for more tips to winterize your HVAC system.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).