As the crisp chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter is not far away. Now’s the time to set aside a few moments to prep your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer drifts away safeguards it against harsh winter weather that could shorten its life. A few basic steps are all you’ll need to prime your air conditioner for optimum efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioner can be filled with debris like fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a handy time to put on your work gloves, clear away this debris and gently flush out the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is adequately above freezing before using the garden hose to clean out the unit. Then, get rid of any particularly uncooperative leaves or twigs that remain jammed in the nooks and crannies and perform a final sweep around the unit. This helps stop winter winds from whisking debris back into or underneath your AC unit.
If you overlooked scheduling 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 is too cold outside. This tune-up and inspection includes checking the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, checking and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Regular air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and looks for and fixes any minor issues before they morph into expensive problems.
When you’re confident you have used your AC for the last time this season, look for the condensing unit’s outside power switch. Lift up the protective covering, flip the switch off and make sure to push the lid down again. This straightforward move protects you from accidentally turning on the air conditioner during the winter months. Running the AC when the condensing unit is covered with ice might create irreversible damage.
Turning off yourAC after the cooling season requires more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also an opportunity to take a good look at the outdoor unit’s condition. Check for cracks, dings, rust or other visible issues. Double-check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything appears in order. If you see a problem, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue gets worse. This preventive action helps you reduce the chances of any unpleasant surprises when you fire up your AC after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners shield their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this strategy often causes more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, stopping evaporation and promoting rust or mold proliferation. Rats might even view your covered AC unit as a lovely spot to build a winter den, and also gnaw through essential wiring and provide you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Despite all this, protecting your AC from falling icicles is still key to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to shield the top of the air conditioner with a piece of plywood weighed down with a brick or large rock to ensure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the AC unit’s sides open to the winter storms should not cause any harm.
Once your air conditioner is correctly winterized, you can’t simply ignore your AC until you need it next spring. To make sure it stays in good shape, take a peek at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if needed and remove any leaves or pine needles caught in the condensing unit. Regular winter care helps prevent any nasty surprises come spring.
Preparing your air conditioning unit for cold temperatures 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 are looking to enjoy the air conditioning next spring, but it also promotes your unit’s efficiency and life expectancy.
For trustworthy, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides first-rate service to help our customers reduce HVAC trouble all year. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of understanding your home comfort is in highly capable hands. To schedule an AC repair or maintenance visit, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today by calling 866-397-3787. Remember, taking care of your AC today helps create a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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