Your central air conditioner may seem intimidating, but if you can tackle it head on, it wont be as hard as it sounds.
Most homeowners manuals will include instructions about changing your air filterread them before you start any work on your heating system! The best way to prepare is by researching what things in your home could pose problems during the winter.
Change the air filter.
Depending on how much dust your central AC has, you may need to change its air filter before winter. If you havent used your AC in a while or if its been raining, try to give it a good airing out before you start making changes.
Take advantage of reduced energy costs.
When you consider how much money you spend each month heating your home, its easy to see why turning off the heat is the perfect option in winter. But with an inefficient heater, you lose moneyeven if you dont realize it!by running your air conditioner all day long just to cool your house down. That can cost up to $1,000 a year, depending on how much fuel your furnace uses.
Talk to your contractor.
If you need help from an air conditioning professional, such as installing a programmable thermostat or changing the filters, talk to him or her before starting. Your contractor can also provide advice about what type of system is best for your home environment and how to keep it running smoothly in the winter.
Plan for any changes to your home layout.
While you may not notice much during the winter, large crowds can cause long lines at dinner time or even trouble heating up your bedroom. Before you start working on your central air conditioning system, take stock of how many people will be using it in your house and estimate what rooms are most often used. You also should consider whether theres a room that always stays cooler than others (like a den) and if so, where is it? Learning these things before you do anything else will help ensure your home is comfortable in no time at all.
Give yourself plenty of time for repairs.
If you still see smoke coming from your central air conditioner in winter, odds are that your unit is simply too old to fix and replace. You may be able to get someone to look at it or at least check its level of efficiency, but unless its urgent, its better to let your contractor handle it instead of trying to take extra parts home with you or stress out over whether you need to order new components.
Know what tools you need and have them on hand.
For most central air conditioners, you will want a screwdriver or wrench. If your unit is electric, you may also want a multimeter. You can find these tools at your local home improvement store.