How to Winterize Your Air Conditioner

October 21, 2021 10:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

With November on the way, we’ve passed the prime cooling season for most people in the United States. This means it’s a great time to winterize your air conditioner, so you can start the next cooling season with the equipment all ready to go.

It is important to note that air conditioner units are designed to sit outside, so you don’t have to worry about exposure to snow or rain permanently damaging the unit. However, that doesn’t mean you should forgo performing any type of preventative maintenance or implementing any protections.

Here’s a quick look at the air conditioner maintenance steps you can take when winterizing AC units:

  • Turn off the unit: First things first: Shut off the circuit to the unit before performing any maintenance at all. There is usually a metal lid near the outdoor unit that has an on/off switch, so you can flip that switch off to kill power to the unit. In some cases, you might need to shut off power from your home’s electrical panel.
  • Wash the cover: Pick a relatively warm fall day to perform this task, so you can ensure the unit dries thoroughly. Use a wet cloth, and wipe the surface, removing dust, dirt and bird droppings. Get rid of leaves, debris, grass, sticks and anything else that might have built up around the bottom or outside of the unit; this will help you prevent pests from trying to nest in the unit.
  • Cover the unit: Once the unit is fully dry, you can cover it up. You can purchase tarps or furnace covers to use for air-conditioning units. Fabric covers are common, but they can quickly turn into an attractive environment for rodents. Check with your manufacturer to determine what they recommend. Remember: You don’t have to cover the unit—this can just be a way to provide the unit with some extra protection. Just make sure you remove any cover you used before turning the AC back on in the spring or summer.
  • Cover up exposed pipes: If there are any exposed pipes on the exterior unit, cover them up with foam pipe covers to provide some extra insulation. This prevents the pipes from freezing and breaking, which could be expensive to repair.
  • Regularly check the outdoor unit: Perform visual inspections every month (even when the system is not in use) to make sure that there’s no debris building up inside or around the unit and that no pests have attempted to make the unit their home. Brush off snow and ice if it builds up on the unit.
  • Have it professionally inspected: It’s highly recommended you have an HVAC technician come out to inspect your unit once a year to make sure it’s in good condition and that it’s able to operate at peak efficiency. You can do this either at the start or end of the cooling season.

Looking for additional air conditioner maintenance tips for your property? Contact our team at Ken’s Comfort Zone Air Conditioning as you ready yourself for winterizing your AC.

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