How You Should Ready the Air Conditioner for the Off Season

How You Should Ready the Air Conditioner for the Off SeasonThe air conditioner that’s kept you cool all summer is about to go into hibernation. Increasingly, you’ll be relying on your hard-working furnace for indoor comfort. Swapping HVAC modes for another long winter involves more than just switching thermostat mode from cool to heat, however. Seasonal shutdown is a good opportunity to make sure the unit will make it through the off season in good shape and be ready when spring returns.

Here are a few simple DIY maintenance tasks to wrap up as you turn the air conditioner off for the year.

  • Put in a new air filter. It’s no doubt dirty after heavy A/C duty so make sure there’s a clean new filter installed before you fire up the furnace. For the rest of the heating season, check the filter monthly and don’t go more than two months without changing it.
  • Inspect the condensate drip pan. Located under the indoor air handler, this wide, shallow pan catches condensate dripping off the A/C evaporator. The pan should be dry for the winter, so make sure there’s no standing water that could spawn mold or algae growth. If you can see residual water, have an HVAC service person check the condensate drain line for clogging.
  • Prepare the outdoor unit. The outside component of the central A/C should be kept free of falling autumn leaves that might obstruct the fan grille or vent openings. Once you’re certain you won’t use the A/C again until spring, it’s a good idea to cover the outdoor unit with a commercially-available cover sized to your specific make and model.
  • Get a shutdown check-up. If you’ve scheduled the annual furnace check-up around now, it’s also a good time to ask the HVAC tech to check the A/C, too. He’ll look for any leftover summer issues that need to be addressed before putting the unit to bed for winter such as leaking refrigerant, loose bolts, or worn blower and fan belts.

Keeping the Wabash Valley comfortable for nearly 95 summers and winters, Paitson Bros. offers advice and service to prepare your air conditioner for the off season.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “peggy_marco/Pixabay”

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