We use air conditioning a good part of the year in Corpus Christi, but there does come a time in the winter when procedures to shut down your AC unit are in order. That’s when we open the windows for a few weeks of fresh air before preparing to turn on the furnace for our brief cold spells.
So what are the shutting-down procedures for your AC? Can’t you simply turn off the AC switch? That might be all most people do, but it’s the wise homeowner who invests in a specific shutting-down protocol. Here’s how and why:
Steps for Shutting Down Your AC
- Turn the control to “off.” Set the control on your HVAC to “off” rather than to “cool” or “heat.” There is also a switch in the outside utility box, and you can set that to “off” as well. Do the same with the power switch for the condenser. Although we are unlikely to have the worries with ice and snow in the condenser that homeowners in northerly climes have, we might have electrical storms or even a hurricane that could cause a power surge, so turning the power off is worthwhile.
- Open up the house. Of course, this is purely optional among your shutting-down procedures, but we recommend opening the windows for those brief few weeks between cooling and heating season when you might not need the HVAC system. Let the stale air out and the fresh air in for better indoor air quality.
- Change the air filter. You won’t need a clean filter until you turn on the furnace, but putting one in early will ensure you don’t forget about it.
- Clean the condenser. Inspect the condenser for dirt, mud, grass clippings, or other debris. Clean it off with a hose or a brush. Clip back shrubbery, limbs, grass, and weeds to a distance of at least 2 feet from the unit.
- Covers are optional. It’s usually best to not cover the condenser due to the possibility of rodents’ nests and mold.
For more on AC shutting-down procedures, contact CCAC, serving the Coastal Bend area.