How to ready your air conditioner unit for the winter months
Have you ever noticed that when a change of season happens your skin might dry out, your joints ache a little more and you are more prone to a sore throat or sniffles. Your body has to adapt to the cooler temperatures.
The same thing happens to your household appliances, believe it or not!
Air conditioners control the climate in your home, but you also need to make sure they are prepared for the changing seasons. This is necessary to provide a comfortable living environment throughout the year.
Air conditioners also have a heating function. When the months pass by, you may utilise them in the early morning, late afternoon, or at night as the weather turns cooler.
Some people use other heating systems such as fireplaces or gas heaters. In this case, you will need to protect your existing AC unit to ensure it is not damaged by the weather/season.
What should be checked when maintaining your air conditioner?
Several things need to be checked when maintaining your air conditioner, including
- Check that the unit contains the correct amount of refrigerant.
- Check to see if the refrigerant is leaking. If the refrigerant is leaking, it must be exhausted from the unit.
- Check if the ventilation ducts are leaking.
- Turn on the air conditioner and check how good the airflow is through the evaporator coil.
- Turn on the remote control and check if both the heating and cooling systems are working properly.
- Examine the belts and motors for signs of wear and tear.
- Check how accurately the thermostat is operating.
We highly recommend that you use an air conditioner cleaning and service company to have your system cleaned and filters replaced over winter.
Parts that are important to the proper operation of the air conditioning system
Many parts of the air conditioning system must be working correctly for the air conditioner to function properly. Below are the significant components that need to be checked during routine air conditioning maintenance:
- The Filters: The filters are essential and must be routinely replaced and cleaned to ensure optimal function. Clean air will not pass through if dirt or dust has gathered on the filters.
- Heat Exchangers: Heat exchangers are another part of the unit that will affect the air conditioner’s performance if a lot of dirt and dust accumulates over time.
- Heat exchanger fins: The aluminium fins, usually on the outside, can be bent and crushed, blocking airflow. The heat exchanger fins must be monitored and repaired to ensure enough air is drawn in.
- Condensate drains: Air conditioning repairers/experts need to make sure condensate drains are clear to prevent leaks and excessive moisture buildup in the A/C unit.
- Window seals: Check to see if all windows are well-sealed since this can be an issue in keeping the cold air out.
If you use your air conditioner for heating in winter:
- Ensure the foam pipe is in good condition and completely covers the copper pipes. Foam tubing protects the air conditioner’s pipes from harsh winter temperatures and keeps the unit working properly and your home consistently warm.
Here’s how to make sure your air conditioner is optimised for heating use
If you’re thinking of using your air conditioner in the winter to keep your home warm, then several things you can do to make sure it’s optimised for heating are:
- Ensure the air conditioner is the right size for the room it will be heating. If the unit isn’t big enough, it will work overtime to keep the room at the desired temperature. However, if the air conditioner is too large, it will use unnecessary energy to operate. With an air conditioner that is the perfect size, you, your family and your wallet can be happy.
- All windows and doors attached to the room or rooms you intend to heat should be closed. If you have open windows or doors that allow cold air to enter, there’s no point in your air conditioner blowing out warm air. Closing interior doors to rooms that don’t need heating can significantly improve air conditioning efficiency.
- Use timers or set the air conditioner on an intermittent setting. The air conditioner will come on periodically, rather than constantly, to maintain the temperature. This also works well if the air conditioner is on while you sleep. You can set the timer to turn off at a specific time and not turn it back on until you wake up in the morning.
- You can also utilise a ducted air conditioner to link other heating systems in your home, such as a fireplace (and make even better use of the heat). This way, you can efficiently use the heat from the fireplace through your air conditioner, reducing electricity costs and keeping your family warm and comfortable.
Whether or not you use your air conditioner during the winter months, it’s always best to have it serviced regularly to ensure it’s working properly, regardless of how often you use it.
If you have decided not to use your air conditioner during the winter, follow the steps above to ensure your unit is covered, cleaned, and adequately maintained while not in use. Always have it serviced before you use it again.
On the other hand, if you have decided to continue using your air conditioner to keep you warm in the winter, follow the steps above to maximise the heat in your home. You’re sure to have a warm and cozy winter.
After a few winter months, when the days get longer, the temperatures rise, and you’re no longer as cold at night. It’s time to restart blowing cooled air through your air conditioner.
If you are finding that your heating and cooling system is no longer performing well in results or in the power consumption area – It may be time to look at upgrading your current system.
Modern heating and cooling is now more economical to run!
Talk to our Beyond Heating And Cooling Team to see if what you have is right for you and your family.