As the seasons begin to change, you will notice cool winds blowing. This means preparing your air conditioning system for this fall season. Check out these tips from our HVAC experts:

  1. Winterize the heating and cooling system.

It's best to start winterizing your home before the temperature drops below freezing. Follow Bannister Plumbing & Air Tips:

  • Invest in draft snakes to prevent warm air from seeping out and vice versa.
  • Re-caulk gaps and repair weather-stripping on windows, piping, and foundation to save money on heating.
  • Change the air filter to alleviate autumn allergens and pathogens.
  • Call an expert to clean vents.
  • Run fans clockwise to reduce heating costs.
  • Lower temperature of water heater to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Insulate pipes.
  1. Schedule an HVAC maintenance checkup.

To avoid emergencies and costly, unexpected repairs and replacements, this call should be made seasonally (every 3-4 months). For the fall, a specialist should perform the following tasks on the mainframe:

  • Clean air ducts.
  • Check for correct amount of refrigerant.
  • Test for and seal leaks in ducts.
  • Measure evaporator coil’s airflow.
  • Verify correct electric control sequence.
  • Inspect electric terminals, and clean and tighten connections.
  • Oil motors, and check belts for tightness and wear.
  • Check thermostat’s accuracy.
  1. Change your thermostat settings.

When you change your clocks, you also change the temperature settings on your air conditioning thermostat. In cooler temperatures, you should increase or decrease the temperature depending on your comfort.

If you're looking for a thermostat that adapts to your lifestyle, check out Bannister Plumbing & Air's quick guide to programmable thermostats and more.

  1. Warm it up.

When you turn on the heater for the first time in the fall, there may be a smell. Usually, this burning smell is dust that has accumulated on the heating components during the last few months of stagnation. This should go away quickly. If the heater does not start, contact a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician.

  1. Clean or replace your air conditioner's air filter.

Clean and/or replace your air conditioner's air filters regularly about once a month (and whenever the seasons change). This routine reduces allergens and pathogens in your home and lowers your energy bill by 5 to 15 percent.

  1. Remove natural debris from around the condenser.

As summer comes to an end, dirt, grime, weeds, and leaves accumulate around the condenser. This can potentially disrupt the circulation of clean air and reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system in cold weather.

Use a hose to remove any natural debris and trim overgrown grass.

You should also rake up grass clippings, leaves, and weeds.

  1. Clean the coils of your device.

The air conditioning evaporator coil and condenser coil collect debris from your lawn mower during the summer months (and fall when the leaves change). This dirt reduces airflow and can cause your air conditioner to absorb heat. Clean the outside area around the coils and remove any debris.

  1. Turn off the device.

By turning off the power to the unit, there is no risk of damage to the capacitor if someone accidentally switches the thermostat setting to “cool” during the fall. Look for a shutoff box on the outside wall near your condenser and flip the switch inside.

Tip: Next spring, remember to turn the power back on 24 hours before using the air conditioner.

  1. Add additional insulation.

Use foam pipe covers around exposed air conditioning pipes and wires, especially those that lead into your home. You can also use tape to hold the foam insulation in place and prevent the pipes from freezing and cracking.


Q: Why is it important to prepare your air conditioner for fall?

A: Preparing your air conditioner for fall can help to extend its lifespan, improve its efficiency, and prevent problems from occurring. When your air conditioner is not properly maintained, it can work harder than necessary, which can lead to wear and tear. Additionally, dirt and debris can build up in the unit, which can reduce its airflow and make it less efficient. By preparing your air conditioner for fall, you can help to avoid these problems and ensure that it is ready for the cooler months ahead.

Q: What are some of the things I can do to prepare my air conditioner for fall?

A: Here are some of the things you can do to prepare your air conditioner for fall:

  • Clean or replace the air filter. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and reduce the cooling capacity of your unit.
  • Clean the condenser coils. The condenser coils are located on the outside of the unit and are responsible for releasing heat into the atmosphere. Over time, the coils can become covered in dirt and debris, which can reduce their efficiency. You can clean the coils yourself with a hose or a pressure washer, or you can hire a professional to do it for you.
  • Check the refrigerant levels. Refrigerant is the gas that circulates through the air conditioner and absorbs heat. If the refrigerant levels are low, the unit will not be able to cool your home effectively. You can check the refrigerant levels yourself using a gauge, or you can hire a professional to do it for you.
  • Inspect the ductwork. The ductwork is responsible for distributing the cooled air throughout your home. Leaks or holes in the ductwork can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner and increase your energy bills. You can inspect the ductwork yourself, or you can hire a professional to do it for you.
  • Seal any air leaks around the unit. Air leaks around the air conditioner can allow hot air to enter your home and reduce the efficiency of your unit. You can seal the air leaks yourself using caulk or weatherstripping, or you can hire a professional to do it for you.

Q: Should I have my air conditioner serviced by a professional before fall?

A: Yes, it is a good idea to have your air conditioner serviced by a qualified technician once a year. The technician will clean the unit, check the refrigerant levels, and inspect the ductwork. This will help to ensure that your unit is running efficiently and prevent any problems from occurring.

Q: What are some of the signs that my air conditioner needs to be serviced?

A: Here are some of the signs that your air conditioner needs to be serviced:

  • The unit is not cooling your home as effectively as it used to.
  • The unit is making strange noises.
  • There is a leak around the unit.
  • The air filter is dirty.
  • The unit is more than five years old.

If you notice any of these signs, it is a good idea to call a qualified technician to service your air conditioner.

Q: What can I do to keep my air conditioner running efficiently all year long?

A: Here are some tips for keeping your air conditioner running efficiently all year long:

  • Change the air filter every month or two.
  • Clean the condenser coils regularly.
  • Keep the ductwork clean.
  • Seal any air leaks around the unit.
  • Have the unit serviced by a qualified technician once a year