How to Prepare Your Air Conditioning System for Winter

ac winters

When it comes to winter, there are cold winds. As a result, it becomes hard to keep your home warm and more comfortable. Some AC problems occur mainly due to the cold weather during the season. One of the common issues is the freezing of pipes and coils. The low temperatures during winter can cause the freezing of water inside pipes and coils.

This reduces the efficiency of the heating system, leaving your home cold and comfortable. What’s more? The frozen water can expand and result in the bursting of pipes or the coil, which can be expensive to fix. Frozen water is a major cause of AC malfunctioning. Another common AC issue during winter is that some parts of your home will feel colder than others.

If that happens, the blower motor in your air conditioner may be malfunctioning. Another possible cause of the problem is dirty air filters. With time, dust and debris accumulate in air filters, reducing the efficiency of your AC. Usually, the blockage causes reduced airflow and eventually reduced warmth.

Some heaters will only ignite if the pilot light turns on. The blue flame stays lit to ease access to heat. If it doesn’t burn, you will face cold and uncomfortable temperatures. Dirty or damaged flame sensors are the leading cause of the problem. The following are tips to prepare your air conditioning system for winter:

Change the Air Filter

Air filters‘ function in an HVAC System is to clean the air flowing through the air ducts. They clean the air when using the furnace as well as the air conditioner. Ensure you replace the filters every three months or sooner if you have high sensitivity to dust.

If you used the AC throughout the summer and are relying on a furnace to heat your home during the cold weather, the air filter already needs replacement. The filters are located between the return air duct and the blower of your AC system. Remove the old filter and buy an identical one at a hardware store. Finally, insert it in the slot. Alternatively, contact an HVAC professional for installation services.

Clean filters mean lower chances of AC break down. When the filters become older, they start releasing fibers and debris into your system’s moving parts. This causes mechanical breakdown and uncomfortable temperatures. Replacing the filters will also help to avoid costly repairs for your system.

Keep Away Organic Debris

Some of the organic debris that may get into the condenser include dead leaves and twigs. With time, the debris accumulates and reduces the efficiency of the air conditioner. This is because the system has to work harder than before. Getting rid of the debris is an effective way of protecting it.

Ensure you get rid of the materials near your system. For example, you should prune all dead plants from nearby gardens. By doing so, you will not need to worry about organic matter blowing into the condenser fins.

Clean and Unblock the Ductwork

Duct cleaning is not a new task. It has been gaining popularity in recent years. The exercise involves cleaning the intake, return, and supply ducts of an AC system. Professional service providers use equipment such as vacuums, blowers, and brushes. Additionally, it includes parts such as motors and coils.

The buildup of dust in the ducts results in blockage, necessitating the AC to work harder to offer optimal results. This means it will require more energy to achieve the same outcome, translating to increased energy bills. Unblocking the ducts will lead to reduced energy consumption.

The cleaning exercise will also ensure the ductwork remains sanitized. Getting rid of the harmful elements will enable fresh air to circulate in your home. According to HVAC professionals, most systems fail due to the buildup of dust. Ensure you get a regular duct cleaning service.

Avoid Waterproof Covers

Usually, many homeowners use plastic covers to keep their air condensers safe during the winter. Although this may sound like a great idea, such covers are not ideal during cold months as they may trap moisture in your air conditioning system. If that happens, your unit will rust and deteriorate quickly.

An air conditioner is designed to be used in all weather conditions. The system in your home should be able to operate efficiently even during the winter without the need to use a waterproof cover. The airflow around an AC should enable the condenser to dry out when the snow melts. As a result, it will stay in pristine condition throughout the season.

Inspect the Area Around the Furnace

Irrespective of the furnace’s location, you need to conduct a visual inspection before and during the winter season. If located in the attic or other hard-to-reach areas, consider contacting a professional for help. Remove all the items around the furnace.

Make sure there’s a 3-foot clearance around the air conditioning system. You would want to ensure nothing is draping over the furnace or lying around it. The furnaces also need to breathe. When materials build up around it, there’s reduced airflow, which may lead to breaking down.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

The change in seasons necessitates the reprogramming of the thermostat. Program it properly to achieve the optimal results. For example, you can program it to turn on 30 minutes before waking up so your home can be warm by the time you come out of bed.

You can also program it to turn off in the morning when you leave and come back on about 30 minutes before you arrive. Modern thermostats come with a variety of innovative features. If you experience problems programming it, check your user manual or contact a service provider for help.

Attic Insulation

This is a necessity for every home, especially during the winter. Insulation will affect your property’s comfort and efficiency. There are numerous benefits of proper attic insulation. First, it will result in reduced energy bills, saving you some money. It helps to trap heat inside, which means your system will not work as hard.