5 Steps to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Winter
The temperatures are dropping. Kids are wearing jackets at the bus stop. You encourage the dog to be quick outside in the morning. You know what time it is. Winter is coming.
As you switch from air conditioning to heating for the changing seasons, take some time to prepare your air conditioner for the winter weather. This helps to prevent damage while you’re not using it, and you’ll be all ready for spring when it arrives! Here are the five steps you need to take.
1. Turn Off Power
On the side of your home, you should see a small box mounted on the wall, usually low to the ground. This is the exterior power circuit. Lift the cover and locate the switch. It may be red or black. Turn it to “Off” and replace the cover.
Turning off power to the air conditioner is a safety measure that can prevent electrocution while you’re performing the following maintenance tasks. It’s also good in the long term because it stops your AC from turning on during the one warm day amid all the chilly ones, as well as keeping out water that could end up freezing and damaging the condensing unit.
To continue preparing your air conditioner for winter, you’ll need to unearth it from all the fall debris. Use a broom to sweep away leaves, twigs, and other items that have accumulated around your AC unit. With your garden hose, spray down the unit to get rid of dirt, dust, bird droppings, and other stuck-on grime. Finally, leave it to dry! It’s a good idea to do the regularly throughout the year, especially in spring and summer during times of high use. This cleaning prevents the AC unit from getting clogged and breaking down.
Once the unit is all cleaned up, you can take a closer to inspect for cracks, rust, leaks, or any other potential issues. Seals should be tight and not cracked, and there should not be any rust in the casing. If you do find any problem areas, it’s best to call an HVAC technician to come have a visit. Repairing now is much easier (and cheaper!) than replacing later!
You can often find a waterproof vinyl or plastic air conditioner cover at your local home improvement store. If your store doesn’t carry one, you can substitute by wrapping a tarp around the AC unit and securing with bungee cords so it doesn’t fly away on a windy day. Covering the unit helps to insulate it, prevent cracking, and provides some protection against debris and inclement weather.
5. Add Insulation
In addition to a cover, you can also add foam pipe covers around the exposed pipes of your AC unit. Duct tape is great at keeping these pieces in place. The foam prevents the wires and fluid from freezing, so the pipes don’t crack.
Call AComfort for a Fall Maintenance Check
To ensure your air conditioner is ready for the cold weather, give AComfort a call for a fall maintenance check. We’ll take care of everything, so you’ll be ready for spring as soon as it gets here! Contact us online to schedule an appointment.