Don’t Neglect Your Air Conditioner this Winter

As the crisp chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to stop and dedicate a few moments to ready your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer winds down shields it against harsh winter weather that could decrease its life. A few easy steps are all you will need to prime your air conditioner for maximum efficiency come spring.

Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner

As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioner becomes a landing spot for fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a handy time to put on 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, get rid of any stubborn leaves or twigs that remain nestled 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 air conditioning system.

Maintain the AC Unit

If you missed hiring an HVAC specialist to conduct regular air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a certified technician conduct an AC tune-up before it is too cold outside. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, examining and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving elements and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Routine air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and can find minor issues before they morph into expensive problems.

Disconnect Your Air Conditioner

When you’re confident you have used your AC for the last time during the summer, look for the condensing unit’s outdoor power switch. Lift up the protective cover, flip the switch off and make sure to push the lid down again. This simple action 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.

Examine the Exterior Unit

Turning off yourair conditioning equipment after the cooling season requires more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also important to examine the outdoor unit’s condition. Check for cracks, dings, rust or other visible issues. Take an extra moment to check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything looks in order. If you spot any issues, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue gets worse. This prompt action helps you steer clear of unpleasant surprises when you power up 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 strategy often produces more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, stopping evaporation and promoting rust or mold development. Mice might even view your covered AC unit as a cozy winter den, and also chew through critical wiring and provide you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.

Despite all this, shielding 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 blow it away. Leaving the air conditioning unit’s sides open to the winter snows should not cause any damage.

Routinely Inspect the Unit

Once your air conditioning system 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 every week or so. Adjust the plywood if necessary and remove any leaves or pine needles caught in the condensing unit. Routine winter care helps protect against any nasty scenarios come spring.

Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in the U.S.

Preparing your air conditioning unit for icy and snowy weather may not be the most thrilling task, but the benefits are immense. Not only does it help you avoid pricey 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, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides top-notch service to help our customers avoid 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 AC today helps create a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!

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