Is Your Air Conditioner Ready for Fall?

September 15, 2015

With fall just around the corner, your air conditioner is going to get a well-deserved break. At the same time, your air conditioning system must be prepped for cold weather, snow, and ice to prevent potential damage. Following are some helpful tips that you may perform as a homeowner and your A/C tech performs as your HVAC expert.

Homeowner Care Hopefully, you have regularly checked the air filter through the cooling months. Nothing bites into cooling efficiency more than a dirty filter. Swap out or clean the filter as applicable. If you're using a low-efficiency disposable filter (e.g. blue fiberglass), trade it in for a mid- to high-efficiency type. Consider your thermostat settings. During the cooling months, Energy Star suggests 78 degrees. If you're using a programmable thermostat, prepare for the heating months by programming heat at 68 degrees when the home is occupied and 60 to 64 degrees when unoccupied and during sleep hours. Spray off the outside unit with a garden hose. For safety, be sure to pull out the electrical disconnect located near the outside unit or flip the breaker. After you've sprayed the unit and let it thoroughly dry, protect it with a waterproof cover. You may have heard pros and cons about covering the unit, such as moisture building inside or animals building nests. Overall, it's better to protect the unit from ice, snow, and other debris.

Professional Fall HVAC Tuneup Many air conditioner systems in the greater Des Moines area are split-system A/Cs that share the blower with a furnace. In the typical upflow furnace, the air conditioner's evaporator coil is an A-frame model. This means heated airflow from the furnace must pass through the coil. After several months of cooling your home, the evaporator is going to be quite dirty, which obstructs heated airflow. Ask your HVAC tech to clean the evaporator during fall furnace maintenance, which should take care of your air conditioner.

To learn more about preparing your air conditioner this fall, contact us at Lozier Heating & Cooling. We've served Greater Des Moines residents for 109 years! Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "Taiga/Shutterstock"