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Cooler days are coming—and chances are we are all going to be spending a whole lot more time indoors at home soon. Make your home a comfortable retreat with our tips on getting ready for a socially distanced autumn.
Tend to Your Air Conditioner
In most parts of the country, it’s time to tuck in your air conditioner in for a long winter’s nap. It’s an easy project that can extend the life of your unit, so add it to your to-do list for September.
If you have a central air conditioner unit…
- Step 1: Locate the on/off switch and flip it to “off” to cut the power supply.
- Step 2: Remove leaves, twigs, and grass clippings from around the exterior of the unit, then use a garden hose to rinse any bugs, dirt, dust, or bird droppings from the surface. Allow the unit the dry completely.
- Step 3: Wrap exposed pipes with Frost King Tubular Foam Pipe Insulation to prevent freezing. Place Tees and Elbows on pipe joints first, then cut straight pieces to fit the length of the pipes.
- Step 4: Cover the unit with one of our Central Air Conditioner Cover to seal out leaves, dirt, and dust and to protect the exterior from rusting. The cover is made of heavy-duty winterized plastic to offer maximum protection, and has elastic strips to ensure a snug fit. Remember to check the unit throughout the winter and brush off snow, ice, and debris that may have accumulated on top of the unit.
If you have window units and have space to store them…
- Step 1: Removing your AC from the window for storage is the best option. Unplug the unit, and take off the front cover. Remove any insulation or weatherseal that you installed around the unit. Lay a towel in front of the window to protect your floor, then carefully lift the unit out of the window (get a friend or family member to help so you don't accidentally drop it out the window, and be sure to wear grippy gloves and closed toe shoes just in case!) and set it on the towel.
- Step 2: Take your unit outside and clean it before storing. Clean or replace the air filter; be sure it is completely dry before you replace it. Carefully inspect the unit for dents or other damage. Use a garden hose to spray down the outside of the unit and the condenser coils, and wash out the water pan. Allow all pieces to dry thoroughly, then store the unit in an upright position in a cool, dry place.
If you have window units and can’t remove and store them…
- Step 1: Insulate around the window with heavy duty insulation, such as Frost King’s Heavy Duty Air Conditioner Weatherseal to block cold air from leaking into your rooms.
- Step 2. Protect your unit from damage caused by snow, ice, hail, and cold temperatures by slipping an Outdoor Window Air Conditioner Cover over the exterior of the unit. Make sure the sewn-in elastic corners are fitted around the bottom front corners of the unit; fold corners inward for tighter fit. Wrap the elastic strap under and around the unit and slip the hook into the ring to fasten. For added insulation, cover the inside of the unit with an elasticized Inside Window Air Conditioner Cover.
Schedule a Check Up for Your Heating System
Whether you have a furnace, boiler, or heat pump, your heating system needs to be serviced annually. Call a technician to schedule a service call; they should inspect your system and thermostat, give it a tune up, and make any repairs or replace needed parts. If you have a furnace, be sure to change filters regularly; the technician will be able to tell you how often a new filter is needed.
Increase Air Flow and Ventilation
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says increasing ventilation can be part of a plan to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, when used along with other best practices. Unfortunately, opening windows and doors—the most obvious ways to increase ventilation—is not a practical solution once the temperature starts to drop. If you have bathroom and kitchen fans that vent outdoors, run them continuously to remove air contaminants and increase the rate of outdoor air ventilation. Running an air purifier may also help to reduce airborne virus when used along with other recommended best practices, such as frequent handwashing and disinfecting surfaces.