As the sudden chill of autumn begins to flow through the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to stop and dedicate a few moments to prep your air conditioning system for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer wanes safeguards it against harsh winter weather that could decrease its life expectancy. A few easy steps are all you will need to prime your air conditioner for maximum efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor AC unit can be filled with debris like fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a good time to put on your work gloves, get rid of this debris and gently wash out the outdoor condensing unit. Be sure the outside temperature is adequately above freezing before using the garden hose to clean out the unit. Then, remove any stubborn leaves or twigs that remain jammed in the nooks and crannies and make a final sweep around the unit. This helps protect against winter winds from whisking debris back into or underneath your condenser.
If you missed setting up seasonal air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a professional technician conduct an AC tune-up before it becomes too chilly. This tune-up and inspection includes measuring the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, looking over and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving elements and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Scheduled air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and can find minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.
When you’re sure you have used your air conditioner for the last time during the hot summer months, locate the condensing unit’s outdoor power switch. Open the protective cover, flip the switch off and secure the lid once more. This straightforward action stops you from accidentally running the air conditioner during the winter months. An unintended switch to cooling mode when the condensing unit is covered with ice might trigger irreversible damage.
Turning off yourAC after the cooling season involves more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also a good time to take a good look at the outdoor unit’s condition. Look out for cracks, dings, rust or other visible issues. Make sure that all seals and insulation are secure and everything seems in order. If you identify a problem, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue becomes an even bigger problem. This preventive measure helps you avoid unpleasant surprises when you power up your air conditioning after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners drape their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this tactic often creates more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, blocking evaporation and promoting rust or mold development. Rats might even view your covered AC unit as a cozy winter den, and also gnaw through essential wiring and create an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
While a tarp probably isn’t ideal, protecting your AC from falling icicles is still essential to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to protect the top of the air conditioner with some plywood weighed down with a brick or large rock to make sure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the outdoor unit’s sides subjected to the winter snows should not cause any harm.
Once your air conditioner is properly winterized, you can’t simply stop thinking about your cooling system until you need it next spring. To ensure it stays in good shape, take a peek at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if required and get rid of any leaves or pine needles caught in the condensing unit. Normal winter care helps protect against any nasty predicaments come spring.
Preparing your air conditioning unit for winter weather may not be the most thrilling task, but the benefits are significant. Not only does it help you avoid expensive repairs and delays when you want air conditioning next spring, but it also promotes your unit’s efficiency and durability.
For trustworthy, experienced assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, turn to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides superb service to help our customers reduce HVAC trouble all year-round. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of knowing your home comfort is in professional hands. To schedule an AC repair or maintenance visit, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today by calling 866-397-3787. Keep in mind, taking care of your air conditioning unit today helps create a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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