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Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

When I purchased a home a few years ago, I had no idea what kind of workload I would be faced with. In addition to trying to figure out how to keep the place clean, I was also left with the challenge of tidying up the yard and keeping things trimmed. It was a little overwhelming, but I knew that I could do it with a little hard work and dedication. I started reading a lot of books and blogs about creating gorgeous things for your home and yard, and it was a great creative outlet. This blog is all about exciting, fun ways to make your home and yard even more beautiful.

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Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

What You Need To Know About Putting Your AC Unit To Bed For The Winter

by Alyssa Perkins

If you're like most homeowners, your AC unit gets quite a workout during the warm season keeping your household occupants cool and comfortable while temperatures soar outside. Now that autumn is finally here, your AC system is finally getting a much-needed rest. However, once that warm weather rolls around again, you're going to want your air conditioner to be up to the job. Keep in mind that the most common time for AC units to malfunction is during the first heatwave of the season, and technicians are usually so backed up on service calls they may not be able to get to you right away — which could mean that you and your family may have to endure several long, hot days until it's able to be repaired. 

To further complicate matters, summers in most areas are becoming increasingly hot, putting even more of a burden on household AC units. You can circumvent many performance issues, however, by performing preventive maintenance and scheduling regular tuneups by HVAC professionals. Now that it's time to put your AC unit to bed for the winter, there are certain things you can do now to help ensure it's running like a top when the time comes for it to perform. Here's what you should do this autumn now that you've turned off your AC for the last time until the warm season arrives in several months.

Clean Off the Outside Compressor and Surrounding Area

AC compressors are usually situated on the outside of the home in typically low-traffic areas — after all, no one really wants a compressor near their patio area. However, this also means that compressors get overlooked. Now is an excellent time to ensure that all weeds and other vegetation are cut well back away from the compressor — you really don't want seeds, residual pollen, or assorted vegetative debris to enter your AC system. 

After cutting back the vegetation, completely clear the compressor of any spider webs that may have accumulated to prevent insects from accessing your home interior through your AC vents and clean it off thoroughly using a soft, clean, lint-free cloth and warm water mixed with a mild detergent. As a final touch, place a covering designed for use on AC compressor units over it to protect it from the weather.

Replace or Air Filter

Many homeowners decide to wait until spring or early summer to replace the air filter on their AC unit, but this is one of those tasks that's extremely easy to overlook. If you get it done now, it's one less thing that stands in the way of a fully functioning AC unit when seasonal heat makes a return appearance. 

Check Your AC Unit's Overall Condition

Now is the time to inspect your AC unit carefully and thoroughly for cracks, holes, and other signs of disrepair — and it's also a good time to determine whether or not your AC unit is due for a replacement. The typical household AC unit lasts from 12 to 15 years, so if yours is getting up there in age, you might want to have it replaced rather than take your chances on it lasting through one more season. As an added bonus, replacement AC units are typically less expensive this time of year than they are during spring and summer. 

Those who replace their older AC unit now may stand to gain significant savings on utility costs next summer. Technology has produced extremely energy-efficient HVAC systems — you could cut your costs by 30%. Ask your local HVAC professional to recommend an ENERGY STAR unit suitable for your particular home environment.

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