Many questions come up this time of year about if there is anything that needs to be done to close down your air conditioner and start up your furnace. As we began to get close to fall in Northern Indiana there will be times we will be using both our air conditioner for hot days and unfortunately starting up our furnace on some cool or cold nights. This is not uncommon in our area of Michiana. By now you should of have already had your air conditioner serviced and any problems already taken care of so there is not really anything to do, YET. However on the furnace side it is very wise to have your furnace serviced before the initial start up. Having your furnace “tuned up” is more than just sweeping out the dust. As a certified service technician I check the components of your furnace and more importantly I check to make sure your heat ex-changer does not have any cracks in it or the integrity of the heat ex-changer is still in tact. Having a cracked heat ex-changer can cause the deadly carbon monoxide gas to be distributed into your breathing air which can cause serious injury and more commonly death. Carbon Monoxide does not have a smell to it so it can not be detected by the nose. I have special equipment that I use with other methods to determine if the heat ex-changer does or does not have any cracks in it and the integrity has not been compromised. If you decide to turn on the furnace before getting it serviced and you smell a burning odor coming from your registers that is most likely all the dust that settled on your heat ex-changer burning off. There is no need to be alarmed, the smell will gradually dissipate.
If you get to the point that you will not be using your air conditioner anymore for the season I recommend that you do not wrap or totally cover the unit. I recommend you just cover the top of the unit. If your unit is not under any gutters or anywhere that ice can build up and break off and fall on your air conditioner you can just cover it with a trash can lid and secure it so the wind does not blow it off. If your air conditioner is under the roof line where ice does and can build up, I recommend you have a piece of ply-wood cut approximately 4″ wider than your unit and place it on top of the air conditioner. This can protect the integrity of your unit if ice does build up and breaks off onto your air conditioner. Both methods prevent any leaves or debris from falling into your unit and allowing the air to pass through the coils drying out the inside of the air conditioner. Wrapping the entire unit holds moisture that otherwise would not even be in there or stay in there during the normal operation. Allowing air to flow through the coils will keep the unit dry and your air conditioner will last along time. Happy Pre-fall.