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 prep your AC for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer wanes safeguards it against harsh winter weather that could shorten its life expectancy. A few basic steps are all you will need to prime your air conditioner for maximum efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioner often can become filled with fallen leaves and pine cones. This is the ideal time to don your work gloves, get rid of this debris and gently wash out the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is well above freezing before dousing the unit. Then, get rid of any tenacious leaves or twigs that remain stuck in the nooks and crannies and complete a final sweep around the unit. This helps protect against winter winds from sending debris back into or underneath your AC unit.
If you overlooked scheduling routine 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 checking 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. Regular air conditioner maintenance increases efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and looks for and fixes any minor issues before they morph into expensive problems.
When you’re positive you have used your air conditioner for the last time during the summer, look for the condensing unit’s outside power switch. Lift up the protective lid, flip the switch off and put the lid back down. This straightforward action protects you from accidentally activating the air conditioner during the winter months. Running the AC when the condensing unit is covered with ice might create irreparable damage.
Turning off yourair conditioner after the cooling season requires more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also important to take a good look at the outdoor unit’s condition. Look out for cracks, blemishes, rust or other exterior issues. Double-check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything appears in order. If you identify any issues, call a certified specialist 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 conditioning after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners drape their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this technique often produces more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, stopping evaporation and encouraging rust or mold proliferation. Mice might even view your covered AC unit as a cozy winter den, and also chew through crucial wiring and provide you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Despite all this, protecting your AC from falling icicles is still critical to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to cover 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 blow it away. Leaving the outdoor unit’s sides open to the winter snows should not cause any problems.
Once your air conditioning system is properly winterized, you can’t simply ignore it until you need it next spring. To make certain it stays in good shape, look at your AC about a few times each month. Adjust the plywood if required and remove any leaves or pine needles embedded in the condensing unit. Routine winter care helps avoid any nasty scenarios come spring.
Preparing your air conditioner for winter weather may not be the most thrilling task, but the benefits are significant. Not only does it reduce the chances of pricey repairs and delays when you want air conditioning next spring, but it also boosts your unit’s efficiency and durability.
For dependable, skilled assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides first-rate service to help our customers prevent HVAC challenges all year. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the security of understanding your home comfort is in skilled 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 conditioner today is the best way to enjoy a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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