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The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

A couple of months ago, the HVAC unit in my home started malfunctioning. The temperature inside my home soared to over eighty degrees Fahrenheit, even though my air conditioning system ran nonstop. After inspecting my air conditioning unit, my knowledgeable HVAC contractor recommended I purchase a new system. He discussed the pros and cons of installing different sizes of HVAC units with me. After considering my HVAC contractor’s advice, I decided to purchase a three and a half ton HVAC unit. Shortly after my HVAC contractor installed my new air conditioning unit, my house started feeling more comfortable. On this blog, I hope you will discover how an HVAC contractor can help you select the right air conditioning unit for your home. Enjoy!


The Right HVAC Unit for Your Home

How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for the Fall and Winter

by Jamie Shaw

With summer nearly over, there's a good chance you won't need your central air conditioner as much during the fall and winter months. If you're not planning on using your A/C for much longer, now is a good time to prepare your A/C system for a long hiatus. Here are a few tips you can use to get your central A/C system ready.

Decide When It's Time to Stop Using Your A/C

The first step of preparing your air conditioner for a well-deserved rest is to decide when it's time to stop using it. The answer depends on your location's overall climate as well as your home's specific heating and cooling needs. If you live in the northern regions of the United States, you might be able to stop using your A/C earlier than you'd be able to if you lived in the Gulf Coast region, for example.

Take Care of the Indoor Air-Handler Cabinet

The next step involves cleaning up and checking the indoor air handler before putting your A/C system on hiatus. The following tips can help make that process a bit easier. 

Change the air filter. A clean air filter can do wonders for your home's indoor air quality and prevent unwanted dust and debris from accumulating within the cabinet over the fall and winter.

Clean the evaporator coil. Use mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush to gently clean the coil of dust, debris, and mold growth.

Check the drip tray and drain. Make sure there's no mold growth or debris accumulating within the tray or blocking the condensate drain.

Check and lubricate the blower fan. Check the blower fan for any nicks or dents that could disrupt optimal air flow, and if necessary, have your HVAC technician lubricate the fan motor according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Check for refrigerant leaks. A small leak can easily rob your A/C system of refrigerant over the fall and winter months. It's a good idea to have your HVAC technician check the refrigerant charge and comb the entire system for leaks.

Clean up debris around the unit. Use a broom or a shop vacuum to clean up any dust or debris found near and around the indoor cabinet.

Take Care of Your Outdoor Condenser Cabinet

With any central A/C unit, there's also the outdoor condenser cabinet to consider. Here are a few pointers for prepping the outdoor half of your home's A/C system.

Trim and remove surrounding foliage. Remove any overgrown grass, branches, or shrubbery from the outdoor cabinet. Not only should the bottom of the cabinet remain clear, but shrubs and plants should be kept at least 2 to 3 feet away from the cabinet's base.

Vacuum and wash the condenser coil. Use your shop vacuum to remove dead leaves and other debris, and then use a garden hose to rinse the condenser coil. Allow the coil enough time to dry before moving on to other steps.

Inspect and lubricate the condenser fan. Just like the blower fan, you should carefully inspect the condenser fan for any outward signs of damage. If necessary, have your HVAC technician lubricate the condenser fan motor.

Cover the outdoor cabinet. Covering the outdoor cabinet will prevent snow and other debris from entering the unit. This can be done by placing a piece of plywood over the condenser fan vent. As an alternative, you can use a well-ventilated mesh cover to keep debris, as well as small rodents, out of the unit.

With these tips, you'll be able to keep your air conditioner in good shape even when it's not in use. You'll also be able to bring it out of retirement faster when spring temperatures arrive.