As the sudden chill of autumn begins to flow through the air, you know winter will arrive soon. Now’s the time to set aside a few moments to prep your AC for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer winds down safeguards it against severe winter weather that could decrease its life span. A few basic steps are all it takes to prime your air conditioner for optimum efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioning system often can become filled with fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a handy time to wear your work gloves, get rid of this debris and gently flush out the outdoor condensing unit. Ensure the outside temperature is adequately above freezing before dousing the unit. Then, take out any particularly uncooperative leaves or twigs that remain jammed in the nooks and crannies and complete a final sweep around the unit. This helps prevent winter winds from whisking debris back into or underneath your AC unit.
If you overlooked hiring an HVAC specialist to conduct 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 gets too cold outside. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, looking over and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Scheduled air conditioner maintenance increases efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and looks for and fixes any minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.
When you’re sure you have used your cooling system for the last time during the hot summer months, locate the condensing unit’s exterior power switch. Open the protective cover, flip the switch off and secure the lid once more. This straightforward procedure 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 could trigger irreparable damage.
Turning off yourair conditioning equipment after the cooling season involves more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also important to examine the outdoor unit’s condition. Look out for cracks, blemishes, rust or other visible issues. Take an extra moment to check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything seems in order. If you see a concern, call a professional to service the air conditioner before the issue becomes an even bigger problem. This prompt move helps you avoid unpleasant surprises when you fire 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 tactic often creates more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, blocking evaporation and encouraging rust or mold development. Rats might even view your covered AC unit as a lovely spot to build a winter den, and also chew through crucial wiring and create 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 cover the top of the air conditioner with some plywood weighed down with bricks or large rock to ensure the wind doesn’t blow it away. Leaving the air conditioning unit’s sides exposed to the winter storms should not cause any harm.
Once your outdoor AC unit is effectively winterized, you can’t simply forget about it until you need it next spring. To make certain it stays in good shape, take a peek at your AC about a few times each month. Adjust the plywood if needed and clean off any leaves or pine needles embedded in the condensing unit. Routine winter care helps protect against any nasty predicaments come spring.
Preparing your air conditioner for icy and snowy weather may not be the most glamorous task, but the benefits are immense. Not only does it reduce the chances of pricey repairs and delays when you are looking to enjoy the air conditioning next spring, but it also encourages your unit’s efficiency and length of service.
For reliable, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides superb service to help our customers reduce HVAC trouble all year. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of knowing 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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