AC and Heating Tip from AC Express
Getting Your System Ready for All Seasons
Routine maintenance, it’s an important part of keeping your air conditioning and heating system happy and healthy. Preventative maintenance and routine upkeep tasks like changing air filters are all necessary in order to have efficiently working air conditioning. Austin eather likes to be a bit unpredictable. We never really know whether we’re going to get a mild fall or whether the following winter will be forgiving or punishing. Sometimes our springs and summers are brutal and sometimes there’s plenty of outdoor swimming weather to go around.
Despite this unpredictability, there are a number of trends across the seasons that make it possible to prepare for each season as the weather shifts. That’s the focus of this tip, preparing your HVAC system for the oncoming season and the changes in weather it will bring. This is simply an easy, convenient way to break up and divide your maintenance tasks across the year, doing all the things that the owner of a cooling and heating system should do during the times that it makes the most sense to do them. With summer starting to fade out and fall coming up in just a few weeks, here are some things to keep in mind at the beginning of each season when it comes to air conditioning and heating maintenance.
Fall is coming up fast. We might not be feeling the cool weather yet, but given the unpredictable nature of Austin weather, sometime in the next few weeks we very well could be. One of the biggest focuses of maintenance that’s good to do during the beginning of fall is to perform troubleshooting on the air conditioning in your home after all the hard use and potential wear and tear it received from the summer.
The first thing you should do is change your air filters. This is going to be a common theme throughout this tip as it is something you should do every month or two regardless of the season. Changing your filter as recommended usually once a month, but some filters have longer cycles. It keeps your air cleaner, helps air flow more freely around the house and makes your furnace’s job easier. Take this one small step and you’ll be amazed at the difference. One reason it’s definitely worth doing during the change from summer to fall is because summer is often a time of high pollen and other contaminant movement. A lot of stuff will fly through your air filters during the summer so it’s best to start fall with a fresh start.
For the exact same reason, it’s also a good idea to clean your vents some during the transition from summer to fall. Pollen, dust, and other contaminants will collect in the vents over a long summer and so, to give your system a fresh start, just clean out the vents with a simple wet paper towel. A little cleaning can go a long way.
The beginning of fall is an awkward stage in the year in several ways. For instance, we usually don’t have weather outside that one would describe as cool here in Austin, Round Rock, Manor, and all around. But it’s not as unforgivably hot as the height of summer. You’re not going to be using your furnace yet but your air conditioner isn’t going to be working as hard either. That makes the transition from summer to fall a great time to cut back on your air conditioning usage and rely more on your fans. Ceiling and floor fans can be used to keep you cool while your home allowing you to turn your AC up by a few degrees and save money that you couldn’t before during the summer.
It’s also worth mentioning that during this warm but not unbearably hot part of the year, use your curtains wisely. Anytime you leave the house, don’t forget to close the curtains. This will keep the sun from turning your house into an oven slowly while you’re away. That way, when you get back home, the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to get you comfortable.
So, now we’re getting to the big transition. Gone are the crazy high 90 degree days and the all air conditioner all the time months. Gone is the awkward period where air conditioners will still be running but not nearly as much during the fall. Now we’re looking at the time when furnaces will be running and indoor heating will become a necessity. Just because we live in Texas doesn’t mean we don’t experience cold.
The thing is though, because Austin weather tends toward warm rather than cool, we don’t use our heating systems at all for the grand majority of the year. And believe it or not, wear can still happen even when a system is out of use. The last thing you want to do is hit the times when you can’t be comfortable in your own home without heating only to find that your furnace has been harboring some system threatening problems that never reared their head until you finally turned it on after months of idleness. So, one the most important things you can do at the beginning of the winter season is schedule a heating system checkup.
This period between fall and winter is the perfect time to have some preventative maintenance done on your heating system so that you can slide through the cold season without worry or discomfort. Call an Austin air conditioning company you trust and get your heating system checked out and perfected so you can sail through the winter worry free.
As with the fall, use this period of weather transition to remember to change your air filters. Every month or every other month depending on the type of filter you have, you should get those air filters switched to ensure the smooth operation of your heating and cooling system. Also, this is a good time to ensure that nothing is blocking any of the vents of your house. Obstructions such as furniture or blankets will worsen the circulation of air in your house which is bad for the health of your system and the comfort ability of your home.
One of the easiest ways to test your heating system at the beginning of winter is to test your thermostat. Wait for a cool morning and turn your thermostat to heating mode. Set it to your preferred winter time indoor temperature and see if the heating is coming and the house gets to that temperature. If it doesn’t, that’s definitely indicative of a problem with your heating system.
There are three cold weather preparation tasks you can do during this season transition that are specific to winter time. The first of which is to cover your outdoor unit to protect it from potential freezing. First, you should clean and hose off the outdoor unit and remove any dirt and debris. Then, consider investing in a vinyl or canvas air conditioner cover. These can protect your unit from freezing, thawing and unexpected hazards like falling limbs or icicles. It’s not necessary, especially here in Austin where if it does get to freezing temperatures, it usually doesn’t do so for long, but it’s a nice precaution. Secondly, you might want to consider adding pipe covers to the pipes on the outside of your house. This will prevent any damage due to excessively cold and potentially freezing temperatures. Finally, this is a good time to check for drafts. The last thing you want during the height of winter is for warm air to be escaping your house. The easiest way to check for drafts is to walk around your house with a small candle, especially near windows and doors. If the candle flickers in a specific spot, you’ve got a draft.
Ah springtime, the cold air has finally gone and we start to experience the best weather Austin has to offer. This will be the time when you start to switch back over from heating your house to cooling it again. As us Austin residents know, the weather can shift quickly. The last thing you want is to finally switch your air conditioner on after a long winter only to find that it’s not working as expected. That’s why the transition from winter to spring is the best time to check the workings of your air conditioning outdoor and indoor units for any sort of problems that may have arisen during their lack of use.
First thing’s first; check the outdoor unit. Check the panels on the outdoor unit that cover the electrical equipment. It’s always possible that wind or debris could have knocked them loose or off. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get them replaced. If you did invest in a cover or insulating blanket for your outdoor unit to protect from harsh winter weather, then it’s time to remove them now. They should be removed prior to starting the air conditioner to ensure that they don’t get in the way of regular operation. If there’s any visible damage on the suction line that provides refrigerant to the house it will need to be replaced as well. Finally, now is an excellent time to give the outdoor unit a thorough cleaning. Remove the lid and hose down the unit. Make sure the fins are all straight and in place. Clean the outdoor condenser coil so that it’s free of dirt and debris.
For the indoors, as usual, change your air filters. Then, check the condensate line. Make sure the drain pan is in place and that there’s no obvious clogging or damage on the pipe that removes moisture from your home. Clean out the grilles and vents with a wet paper towel to make sure they’re as clean as can be. Finally, wait for a warm spring afternoon and turn your air conditioner on. Set the thermostat to cool and set it to a temperature that you prefer. Make sure it turns on, that cool air blowing out of all your vents, and that the temperature gets to the one you set.
Preparing for summer is a bit like preparing for war in Texas. You’re getting ready to face the hottest days of the year, so you want your air conditioner to be in the best shape it can be. To do that, you should first schedule a preventative maintenance visit from an Austin air conditioning service you trust. If any equipment needs replacement or repair, or if there’s any annual maintenance tasks that need to be done, the transition from spring to summer is the best time to do it.
Finding ways to save money on energy bills is another great thing to do during this season transition. If you’ve been thinking about investing in a programmable thermostat now is a great time, as the power to easily adjust your thermostat settings automatically while you’re away from home will never make a bigger difference in your energy usage as it will during summer.
Make sure you change your air filters once again to make sure you’re getting the best circulation and airflow possible. Clear the area around the outdoor unit and make sure it’s free of any debris or leaves that could possibly clog up the unit and prevent good working order.
Season Preparation and Austin AC Repair
AC repair in Austin is easy when you’re in good hands. That’s what AC Express is all about. Whether you need a full air conditioning and heating system replacement or just some routine preventative maintenance, you won’t be disappointed by our service. Air conditioning Austin is what we’re proud to do day in and day out throughout the seasons of the year.
For each season transition, getting your air conditioning and heating system checkout by competent professionals is a good idea to ensure your system works at its and lasts as long as possible. If you’d like to schedule air conditioning maintenance or you need any kind of Austin air conditioning repair, regardless of whether you’re in Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, or any of Austin’s suburbs, call today!
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