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It’s been an unusual start to the winter in some places. For homeowners in Boca Raton, the weather has been in the 70s or 80s during the day and as low as 51º F at night in December. It’s been pretty normal.

Meteorologists expect a cold front for the end of December, moving southeast through the Gulf of Mexico, but Florida’s eastern cities won’t see much more than light winds. Humidity levels are high, however, so Boca Raton homeowners have AC systems running periodically to keep their homes comfortable.

When you operate your AC system in the winter, it can add extra wear and tear to the components. All Year Cooling has some tips to help keep your central air working efficiently.

Avoid Sharp Temperature Changes

You waste a lot of energy if you suddenly crank up your AC because it gets too warm during the day. When temperature changes involve substantial increases, the system has to work harder and longer to return the temperature to the correct setting. Pay attention to how warm or cool it is in your house and use fans and heaters to keep your home’s interior temperature level.

Run Fans More

If it’s cooler outside and you want to keep circulating the air in your home, run the fans. You’ll reduce your electricity bills and still feel comfortable. If it gets cool at night, fans also help circulate heat from space heaters. Just make sure you’re not running a space heater at night when you’re sleeping or when you leave your house for the day.

Is your AC system also equipped with heat, or do you have a heat pump? If so, run the heat to burn off any dust that’s collected over the summer. You may not need the heat yet, but if you turn it on when you can still open windows to air out the burned dust smell, you’ll be happier.

Open the Windows When You Can

If there is that dream day where it’s warm outside but not too humid, open the windows and air out your home. It’s a good way to bring in fresh air. The CDC also lists an open window as a great way to reduce viruses and germs that are building up in your Boca Raton home. 

Change Your Thermostat Settings

In the winter, you might not want your home as cool as it is in the summer. Make sure you adjust any programmed settings to ensure your AC only runs when it needs to. If you keep it at 75 all summer, you might find that 78 is better in the winter.

By changing the settings, you limit strain on your system and save on energy consumption. You might prefer to switch your central AC to manual mode for the winter and turn it on and off as needed if there are some cooler, dry days coming up.

Check and Replace Your Filters

In the summer, you find you replace your AC system’s filters every month or two. It may not be as necessary to replace them monthly, but you need to check them still. If they appear dirty and filled with dust, pet hair, and other particles, replace the filter.

Make Sure Your Home’s Insulation Is Adequate

When it’s cooler outside, insulation can keep your home feeling cozy. Insulation keeps your summer AC costs lower, but it also helps keep warmer air inside in the winter. If you find your attic is colder than it should be or feel leaks coming in around windows or doors, it’s time to improve the insulation and weatherstripping.

Pay Attention to the Weather Forecast

Freezing cold temperatures aren’t likely, but it can happen. The coldest temperature recorded in Boca Raton was 21º F in 1995. If it gets that cold, your system needs to be turned off. Freezing temperatures can damage an AC system, and newer AC systems have built-in sensors to prevent this. Older systems do not.

An AC system works when coolant absorbs hot air inside and releases it outside. If it’s too cold for the refrigerant to switch from a liquid to a gas, it strains the system. Condensation on the coils can freeze and create damage, too. While freezing weather isn’t common, it’s important to pay attention to the forecasted low temperatures.

While future forecasts can be a guessing game, people often rely on the forecasts shared in the Farmer’s Almanac. The prediction for January, February, and March is that temperatures will be colder than average and precipitation will be higher than average. If the prediction is true, there may be times you need to shut your AC system off.

Is It Time for a Replacement?

One thing to consider in the winter is if it’s time for a new AC system. Winter prices are lower, especially if you purchase last year’s model. You’ll often find pricing on the most efficient systems is within your budget. It’s the same thought as with cars. Warehouses and dealers need room for next year’s models, so they sell at discounts to clear space.

Add in the tax credits you get from the federal government for efficient central AC systems and the instant rebates from FPL. Your new AC is an investment, but it becomes one you save a lot on, and the savings on your utility bills add to the savings.

Winter Is the Best Time for Maintenance and Repairs

Winter is a great time for Boca Raton AC maintenance. As you may not need to run your system 24/7, it won’t disrupt your day to have your system cleaned. If you need your ducts cleaned, which can be a time-consuming task, you won’t find your home heating up too much while technicians shut your system down and do their job.

Some maintenance projects are DIY. You can use a hose to spray dirt and grime from the coils. Ensure shrubs, grass, and fallen leaves are away from the outdoor unit. Ensure that the pad supporting the outdoor system is not cracked or uneven. If heavy rains have eroded the soil around your base, address it before it becomes a problem.

Call All Year Cooling today and schedule a time to have your coils cleaned, your system’s pressure checked, and the ducts inspected and cleaned if needed. If you have any leaks, have them addressed before spring arrives. The slower winter season is ideal for cleanings and repairs, and your Boca Raton AC system will be in top form when the hot weather returns.

All Year Cooling