As the sharp chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter will arrive soon. Now’s the time to stop and dedicate a few moments to ready your air conditioning system for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer drifts away guards it against severe winter weather that could reduce its life expectancy. A few easy steps are all it takes to prime your air conditioner for peak efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioning system often can become filled with fallen leaves and pine cones. This is the ideal time to wear your work gloves, clear away this debris and gently hose down the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is comfortably above freezing before using the garden hose to clean out the unit. Then, take out any particularly uncooperative leaves or twigs that remain nestled in the nooks and crannies and complete a final sweep around the unit. This helps prevent winter winds from sending debris back into or underneath your AC unit.
If you overlooked setting up routine air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a certified technician conduct an AC tune-up before it gets too chilly. This tune-up and inspection includes checking the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, looking over and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving components and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Scheduled air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and can find minor issues before they escalate into expensive problems.
When you’re sure you have used your cooling system for the last time during the summer, 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 effortless move protects you from accidentally running the air conditioner during the winter months. Accidentally turning on the air conditioner when the condensing unit is covered with ice may cause permanent damage.
Shutting down yourair conditioner after the cooling season calls for more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also an opportunity to take a good look at the outdoor unit’s condition. Look out for cracks, blemishes, rust or other visible issues. Double-check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything looks in order. If you spot a concern, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue becomes an even bigger problem. This preemptive action helps you avoid unpleasant surprises when you turn on your AC after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners drape their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this tactic often causes more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, stopping evaporation and encouraging rust or mold growth. Mice might even view your covered AC unit as the perfect place for a winter den, and also chew through critical wiring and leave you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Even though a covering might not be the best idea, 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 some plywood weighed down with a heavy block or large rock to ensure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the AC unit’s sides open to the winter snows should not cause any harm.
Once your air conditioner is effectively winterized, you can’t simply ignore it until you need it next spring. To ensure it stays in good shape, look at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if needed and remove any leaves or pine needles caught in the condensing unit. Normal winter care helps avoid any nasty surprises 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 expensive repairs and delays when you want air conditioning next spring, but it also promotes your unit’s efficiency and longevity.
For dependable, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides top-notch service to help our customers avoid HVAC challenges all year-round. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the security of realizing 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 helps create a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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