As the sudden chill of autumn begins permeating the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to stop and dedicate a few moments to ready your AC for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer winds down safeguards it against extreme winter weather that could shorten its life. A few basic steps are all you will need to prime your air conditioner for peak efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor AC unit becomes a landing spot for fallen leaves and pine cones. This is the ideal time to wear your work gloves, remove this debris and gently hose down the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is well above freezing before using the garden hose to clean out the unit. Then, remove any stubborn leaves or twigs that remain nestled in the nooks and crannies and make a final sweep around the unit. This helps stop winter winds from whisking debris back into or underneath your air conditioning system.
If you skipped scheduling seasonal air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a skilled technician conduct an AC tune-up before it becomes too cold outside. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, checking and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving components and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Regular air conditioner maintenance increases efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and can find minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.
When you’re positive you have used your air conditioner for the last time during the summer, find the condensing unit’s outdoor power switch. Open up the protective covering, flip the switch off and secure the lid once more. This effortless procedure stops you from accidentally running the air conditioner during the winter months. Running the AC when the condensing unit is covered with ice could cause irreparable damage.
Turning off yourair conditioner after the cooling season involves more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also important to scrutinize the outdoor unit’s condition. Watch out for cracks, dings, rust or other exterior issues. Make sure that all seals and insulation are secure and everything seems in order. If you spot a concern, call a professional to service the air conditioner before the issue gets worse. This prompt action helps you reduce the chances of any unpleasant surprises when you power up your air conditioner after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners cover their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this technique often brings about more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, preventing evaporation and encouraging rust or mold development. Mice might even view your covered AC unit as the perfect place for a winter den, and also bite through essential wiring and leave you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Despite all this, shielding your AC from falling icicles is still essential 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 make sure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the outdoor unit’s sides open to the winter snows should not cause any damage.
Once your air conditioning system is correctly winterized, you can’t simply forget about your AC until you need it next spring. To make sure it stays in good shape, take a peek at your AC about every week or so. Adjust the plywood if needed and remove any leaves or pine needles embedded in the condensing unit. Regular winter care helps prevent any nasty predicaments come spring.
Preparing your air conditioning unit for cold temperatures may not be the most thrilling task, but the benefits are immense. Not only does it prevent costly repairs and delays when you want air conditioning next spring, but it also promotes your unit’s efficiency and durability.
For trustworthy, skilled assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides superb service to help our customers reduce HVAC issues all year. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of realizing 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 is the best way to enjoy a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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