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Heating & Air Conditioning

Seasonal Tips: Preparing Your Air Conditioning System for Fall Shutdown

As this summer’s record-breaking heat gradually gives way to the cooler temperatures of fall, it’s time to start thinking about transitioning your home from cooling to heating mode. It’s hard to say goodbye to summer, but preparing AC units for the colder months is a crucial chore. Winterizing your AC unit ensures its longevity and saves you money on repairs and maintenance when spring rolls around. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this seasonal transition.


Clean and Clear: 

Before you even think about turning off your air conditioning system, take a few minutes to clean the area around the outdoor unit. Remove any debris, leaves, twigs, or clutter that may have accumulated around the unit during the summer months. Keeping the area clean helps maintain proper airflow and prevents potential damage caused by debris getting into the system. 


Replace the Air Filter: 

A clean air filter is essential for efficient operation and indoor air quality. Swap out the old filter with a new one to ensure your HVAC system isn’t working harder than necessary. A clean filter also means your system won’t struggle with a clogged filter when switching to heating mode. If you use electronic HVAC filters, ensure that they are free of dust and debris.


Check for Damage: 

Inspect the outdoor and indoor components of your air conditioning system for any signs of wear and tear. Look for cracks, corrosion, loose connections, or damaged wiring. Addressing these issues before the system goes into hibernation can prevent more extensive problems from arising during the off-season. 


Turn Off the Power: 

Locate the circuit breaker that supplies power to your air conditioning unit and turn it off. This precautionary measure prevents the system from accidentally turning on during mild fall days, wasting energy and putting unnecessary strain on the components. If you need to use your AC during an unexpected fall heatwave, don’t forget to turn the breaker back on before starting it (and back off when the heat subsides). 


Cover the Outdoor Unit: 

While modern air conditioning units are designed to withstand various weather conditions, it’s still a good idea to cover the outdoor unit with a breathable, waterproof cover. This protection shields the unit from debris, ice, and moisture, which can lead to rust and other issues.


Schedule Professional Maintenance: 

Consider scheduling one of our professional HVAC technicians to perform a thorough inspection and maintenance of your system before shutting it down for the fall. A trained technician can identify potential problems and make necessary repairs, ensuring your AC unit is in top condition when spring arrives. Getting a professional to take a look ensures you haven’t missed anything, and gives you peace of mind all winter long. 


Adjust the Thermostat: 

Switch your thermostat from cooling mode to heating mode. Adjust the temperature settings according to your comfort preferences for the upcoming cooler season. Using a programmable thermostat is essential to optimizing energy usage. If you need to upgrade to a programmable thermostat – contact us, we can ensure you pick the best one for your home.


Consider Ductwork Inspection: 

While you’re getting your air conditioning system ready for a fall shutdown, it might be a good time to have your ductwork inspected for leaks, obstructions, or other issues. Properly sealed and insulated ducts contribute to more efficient heating during the colder months. Plus high functioning ducts mean a lower energy bill. 


Store Remote Controls: 

If your air conditioning system comes with remote controls, consider storing them in a designated place until they’re needed again in the spring. This way you won’t be running around trying to find them come springtime, or accidentally using them in the winter.


By following these steps, you ensure that your air conditioning system gets the care it needs before going dormant for the fall and winter months. Not only will this help extend the lifespan of your equipment, but it will also make the transition to heating mode smoother and more efficient. As temperatures drop, you can rest easy knowing that your home is prepared for the changing seasons, and that your AC will be ready when it’s summer again!