As the crisp chill of autumn begins to flow through the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to set aside a few moments to ready your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer wanes guards it against harsh winter weather that could decrease its life. A few easy steps are all you’ll need to prime your air conditioner for peak efficiency come spring.
Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner
As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioning system can be filled with debris like fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a handy time to put on your work gloves, get rid of this debris and gently flush out the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is comfortably above freezing before dousing the unit. Then, remove any stubborn leaves or twigs that remain jammed in the nooks and crannies and perform a final sweep around the unit. This helps prevent winter winds from blowing debris back into or underneath your air conditioning system.
Maintain the AC Unit
If you overlooked scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a professional technician conduct an AC tune-up before it gets too chilly. This tune-up and inspection includes checking the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, checking and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving elements and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Scheduled air conditioner maintenance improves efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and looks for and fixes any minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.
Disconnect Your Air Conditioner
When you’re confident43 you have used your cooling system for the last time during the summer, look for the condensing unit’s outside power switch. Open the protective cover, flip the switch off and put the lid back down. This simple action prevents you from accidentally activating the air conditioner during the winter months. An unintended switch to cooling mode when the condensing unit is covered with ice might cause permanent damage.
Examine the Exterior Unit
Turning off your air conditioning equipment after the cooling season calls for more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also an opportunity to examine the outdoor unit’s condition. Watch out for cracks, dents, rust or other exterior issues. Double-check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything appears in order. If you see a problem, call a qualified technician to service the air conditioner before the issue becomes an even bigger problem. This preemptive measure helps you steer clear of unpleasant surprises when you turn on your air conditioner after its long winter hibernation.
Guard Your Air Conditioner Against Falling Ice
While some homeowners cover their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this tactic often produces more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, blocking evaporation and promoting rust or mold growth. Rats might even view your covered AC unit as the perfect place for winter den, and also bite through essential wiring and leave you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Despite all this, safeguarding your AC from falling icicles is still critical to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to protect the top of the air conditioner with a piece of plywood weighed down with a heavy block or large rock to ensure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the AC unit’s sides subjected to the winter storms should not cause any damage.
Routinely Inspect the Unit
Once your air conditioner is correctly winterized, you can’t simply forget about your cooling system until you need it next spring. To make sure it stays in good shape, look at your AC about a few times each month. Adjust the plywood if necessary and get rid of any leaves or pine needles embedded in the condensing unit. Regular winter care helps protect against any nasty surprises come spring.
Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in Hurricane
Preparing your air conditioning unit for icy and snowy weather may not be the most thrilling task, but the benefits are significant. Not only does it reduce the chances of costly repairs and delays when you need air conditioning next spring, but it also boosts your unit’s efficiency and durability.
For trustworthy, experienced assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, turn to Teays Valley Service Experts. Our team provides superb service to help our customers reduce HVAC issues all the time. With Teays Valley Service Experts 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, call Teays Valley Service Experts today by calling 304-760-5088. Keep in mind, taking care of your air conditioner today is the best way to enjoy a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!