“Welcome to Arizona – where summer goes to winter,” so says the old quote. Winter weather in the Valley of the Sun is as good as it gets in the US. In November, when temperatures dip into the 70s, many desert dwellers bid farewell to their air conditioner for the next six months. In fact, we’ve had clients tell us they’ve had years where they’ve gone the entire winter season without touching their thermostat. That means, once they turned off their air conditioner, they never even bothered to switch their furnace on. Now that’s a perfect winter in Phoenix.
One thing is for certain, once you turn off your air conditioner for the season, it’s going to be idle for many months. Let’s face it, even your lawn mower needs service after sitting in the garage for six months. Here’s a handy checklist of things to do to prepare your air conditioner for the winter season ahead.
- Perform a Visual Inspection – If you can possibly manage the time, set aside a few minutes to visually inspect your air conditioner. Would it surprise you to know that many people rarely even look at their unit because it’s simply located on the far side of the house or up on the roof. If your unit is located on the ground, check to see if it has become overgrown with weeds or if there’s any evidence of animal infestation. Look to see if there was any damage to your HVAC unit during the monsoon season. Occasionally, branches or leaves can be blown into or under your unit, hindering airflow or causing obstruction.
- Replace Your Air Filters – Air filters are the number one guardian protecting you and your family from dirt, dust and particulate air pollution floating in the desert air. Air filters should be changed at the very least, once every three months. However, if you have pets or if you suffer from respiratory challenges, you might consider changing your filters more often. It is a common misconception that since the air conditioner has been turned off, you don’t need to change your air filters. You’ll breathe easier if you get into the habit of replacing your air filters at least six times per year.
- Check Your Thermostat – Since you are taking the time to review your HVAC system, it might also be a good idea to check your thermostat and consider upgrading to a new smart, wi-fi enabled programmable thermostat which will save you both time and money. It has been our experience that most homeowners rarely think about their HVAC system or their thermostat until they malfunction. However, the new smart thermostats are just that – smart. They remember to adjust the temperature at night and when you are away at work, so you don’t have to think about it. Many homeowners are seeing significant savings from their smart thermostats.
Time to Schedule a Winter Service
Even though your air conditioner may have the next six months off, scheduling a winter service might be the best thing for it. If you’ve experienced any nagging problems with your air conditioner over the summer, give us a call. If you noticed any strange noises coming from your air conditioner toward the end of the season, don’t wait until spring to deal with it. November and December are great months for service because the workload is not as crushing as it is in the heat of summer. Don’t forget, performing upgrades while the temperatures are lower means you won’t have to sweat it out while the repairs are being done. Why not call us today to schedule your winter service.