Tue 30 May 2023

Year-round air conditioning: Prepare your AC for the change of season

As the seasons change, preparing your AC system for the coming changes in climate is a must, especially if you use it for year-round air conditioning. Not only to keep your home comfortable, but also to ensure the longevity of your AC system, reduce energy bills, and optimize performance. This article provides an in-depth guide on how to prepare your AC for the change of the season. 

Year-round Air Conditioning: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Prepare Your AC for the Changing Seasons

From the chilly winters to the sweltering summers, your air conditioning system is designed to provide year-round temperature control. However, as seasons change, so does the toll it takes on your AC. Preparing your air conditioning system for this transition ensures it continues to run efficiently while providing maximum comfort.

Different AC Temperature Settings and Needs Around the World

The AC temperature and temperature settings vary significantly depending on geographic location. For instance, households in drier, hotter regions will require different indoor temperature settings to those in colder climates, as will those that live in constantly humid locations. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of the local climate, and seasonality, is necessary to understand which type of air conditioner is right for you that offers AC temperature settings for maximum comfort and efficiency.


Person adjusting AC Temperature Settings on Cellular Device


Making the Most Out of Programmable Air Conditioners


Programmable air conditioners allow you to control the climate in your home through different settings to maximize efficiency. The airHome air conditioners from Hitachi, such as the airHome 600, come with weekly timers and programmable options. Utilizing these features allows you to automatically adjust temperature settings according to the time of day, ensuring efficiency and comfort. Also, there is the airCloud Home app by Hitachi which gives the user greater control of their Hitachi air conditioner, allowing them to further customize indoor comfort more conveniently. Learn all about the airCoud Home app here.

Adjusting the Temperature for Maximum Efficiency


The universal recommendation for AC temperature in summer is around 22ºC to 27ºC (72ºF-80ºF), while AC temperature in winter, should be set around 20ºC to 23ºC (68ºF-74ºF), in order to reduce strain on your AC system, lower energy consumption whilst maintaining indoor comfort. 

AC Troubleshooting for the Changing Seasons

As seasons change, different issues with your AC Unit could arise due to increased usage or extended dormant periods. It is important to perform regular HVAC preventive maintenance, however, homeowners should also be aware of common AC issues and how to address them. 

Checking for Physical Damage


Inspect your indoor AC unit for any signs of physical damage, such as bent or broken fins and leaking refrigerant. If damage is detected, be sure to contact a professional for repair. 

Clearing Debris from the Outdoor Unit


Be sure to conduct an AC outdoor unit inspection as it can be obstructed by leaves, grass, and dirt. Removing this debris allows for airflow optimization, reducing strain on your AC. An important point: If you spot anything inside the unit, it's advisable to contact a professional. 

Clearing the Area Around the Outdoor Unit


To guarantee optimum use of your system for year-round air conditioning, clear space around your AC's outdoor unit tol help clear airflow and better its performance. We recommend regularly removing debris, trimming back foliage, and maintaining an unobstructed space of at least two feet on all sides. 

How to Protect an AC Outdoor Unit


Protecting your outdoor unit is essential for its longevity. Use an air conditioner cover during off seasons to keep it free from debris and moisture. Hitachi’s airHome SafeGuard system incorporates state-of-the-art features designed to safeguard your air conditioning unit, enhancing its durability and longevity. A select few of the features are:

  1. Power-Safe Function: This feature stops the air conditioner from using too much power and tripping the circuit breaker. It does this by slowing down the compressor speed when it's using a lot of power. You can turn this feature on or off with the remote.
  2. Anti-Corrosion Coated Fins: These fins are designed to stop the air conditioner from getting damaged by things like water, air, salt, and damp air over time.
  3. Valve Cover: This cover protects the outdoor part of the air conditioner from getting water damaged from things like leaks or water build-up. It does this by directing water away from the air conditioner.
  4. Anti-Rust Paint: This paint stops the outdoor part of the air conditioner from rusting or the paint from peeling off.

Inspecting the Electrical Components 


When doing an AC electrical inspection, look for any signs of wear or damage. Loose connections, burnt wires, and damaged circuit breakers can affect your AC’s performance. We would like to highlight again that for inspections as delicate as these, it's always advisable to contact a professional. 

Preparing Your Indoor Unit for the Changing of the Season

Testing your AC system between seasons can help you identify and avoid any potential issues, for a smooth transition as the weather changes. being a critical point for achieving the most if you use your system for year-round air conditioning. Here's how to prepare your indoor unit for the season change:

Symptoms Your Systems Wall-Mounted Indoor Unit is Not Working and What You Should Do


Pay attention to any unusual changes in your AC's performance. Reduced airflow, inadequate cooling or heating, odd noises, and leakage are all signs of potential issues. Always consult a professional before attempting to fix these problems yourself. Preventative maintenance can also stop these issues from arising. 

Checking the AC Air Filter


A clogged air filter can severely affect your AC's performance, leading to poor air conditioner air-flow and increasing energy consumption. It's advisable to clean or replace your air filter every one to three months, depending on usage and air quality. Check out our previous article for tips on how to properly clean your air conditioner.


Man Enjoys Ideal Air Conditioning Temperature


Poor Air Conditioner Air-Flow


Inadequate air-flow could be due to a dirty air filter or obstructions in the vents. If cleaning the air filter doesn't improve air-flow, consult a professional to check your system.

Air is Too Hot or Too Cold


If your AC isn't cooling or heating effectively, it could be due to improper settings, refrigerant leaks, or issues with the thermostat. First, check the setting on your air conditioning unit, if problems persist a professional AC unit inspection can help identify and fix the problem. 

Strange Noises Coming from Your Indoor Unit AC


Unusual sounds, such as grinding, squealing, or banging, could indicate loose parts, motor issues, or a failing compressor. In such cases, turn off your AC and consult a professional immediately. 

Water Leaking from the AC


Water leakage could be due to a blocked condensate drain line or a leaking refrigerant. Tiny cracks or perforations in the refrigerant coils might cause a refrigerant leak. To identify this, due to its high pressure, the coolant that seeps through these openings will make a hissing, bubbling or gurgling sound. As expressed in section above, make sure to contact a professional if you spot any leak or sound coming from your AC unit. 

AC Running Constantly


An AC that's always running might be struggling to reach the set temperature. Here are some tips to help you balance comfort and energy consumption:

  • Use fans to enhance AC cooling without lowering temperature.
  • Install curtains or shades to reduce heat impact from sunlight.
  • Choose the right size AC for your home.
  • Utilize smart features to automatically set temperature for different times of the day.

AC Not Turning On


If your AC isn't turning on, it could be due to a tripped circuit breaker, thermostat issues, or a damaged motor. 

Checking Refrigerant Levels


Low refrigerant levels prevent your AC from providing the desired temperature effectively, in which case, the use of your system for year-round air conditioning. While doing a refrigerant check this issue might be identified by inadequate cooling or ice on the refrigerant lines, adjusting refrigerant levels is a task best left in the hands of a professional. 

Strange Smells Coming From AC Indoor Unit


There can be different reasons to why your air conditioner has developed unpleasant smells, here are the three most common causes:

  • Air filters need cleaning or replacing
  • Mold or mildew
  • Clogged or poor drainage
  • For more information on how to get rid of odors from your air conditioner, check out our article on how to avoid smells in your air conditioner.

A/C System Freezing


Ice buildup on your AC's evaporator coil can cause the system to freeze. This could be due to low refrigerant levels, poor airflow, or a faulty fan. If your AC freezes, turn it off and call for assistance from your HVAC technician. 

Checklist for Inspecting the Ductwork

Does your house have a ducted system? Maintenance and preparation for the change of season for these systems is similar but will require other checks.


Efficient airflow often depends on well-maintained ductwork so it's crucial to regularly inspect and conduct a duct cleaning for optimal performance. The following tips will help you spot issues with your ducted system: 

Air-Flow Problems in Ducted AC


Air-flow problems in ducted AC systems could be due to dust accumulation or obstructions inside the ducts. Regular checks and cleaning can resolve this issue. 

Checking Ducted Air Conditioner Vents


Make sure that the vents are clear of obstructions and open properly to facilitate airflow. Also, regularly cleaning the vents also helps prevent dust accumulation, which can affect both your health and the overall efficiency of your unit. 

Sealing Air Leaks in Ductwork


Air leaks in your ductwork can cause cool air to escape, increasing your energy bills, and impact the efficiency, and power of your air conditioner. Duct sealing provided by a professional can effectively address this issue. 

Home Insulation 

The efficiency of your air conditioner is greatly improved when your home is properly insulated, as it minimizes heat exchange between the inside of your home and the outdoors. For a deeper understanding of why insulation is crucial, we invite you to read our article discussing the benefits of thermal insulation and air conditioning. 

Understanding the Importance of Proper Home Insulation and AC Efficiency


Adding insulation in your home creates a barrier to heat transfer, keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This results in less strain on your AC system, providing greater control over the air quality, indoor humidity, energy efficiency and savings on electricity bills.

Identifying Common Areas of Energy Loss in the Home


Common areas for energy loss include windows, doors, and uninsulated walls, floors, and ceilings. Addressing these areas can greatly increase your home's energy efficiency. 

Installing Insulation in the Attic, Walls, and Floors


Installing insulation in the attic, walls, and floors can prevent hot air from entering your home in the summer and cold air in the winter, making your AC system more efficient. It's crucial to select the right type of insulation for each area and install it correctly for maximum efficiency.

Closing Blinds or Curtains


Sunlight can significantly increase indoor temperatures, impacting AC temperature in summer Closing blinds or curtains during the hottest parts of the day can help reduce heat gain, allowing your AC system to run more efficiently.


Woman Using Smart Remote for AC Unit


Choosing an Energy-Efficient AC Unit

Choosing an energy-efficient AC unit is key when it comes to selecting a system to provide year-round air conditioning and it can also significantly reduce your energy bills. Here are some factors to consider.

  1. Checking the Energy Ratings: Energy ratings, provided at the back of your AC unit, indicate how efficiently an AC unit operates. A higher rating indicates greater efficiency. Check out this guide to calculate your air conditioner rating.
  2. Looking for Additional Features: Features like programmable timers, eco modes, and smart technology can greatly enhance energy efficiency. For example, Hitachi's airHome AC units come equipped with energy-efficient features like Smart Eco Mode, which can detect when the room is vacant and automatically switches to energy-saving mode when you're not in the room. Or the GoodSleep Timer program, which you can set to turn off after your preferred number of hours.

Remember, while you can handle certain aspects of AC maintenance yourself, it is always advisable to seek professional help for more complex tasks. This ensures that your AC operates optimally, keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. It's all about making the most of your year-round air conditioning system, and Hitachi is here to help you every step of the way.


For more information about Hitachi residential air conditioners, check the range, here.


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