Don’t Neglect Your Air Conditioner this Winter

As the sudden chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter is not far away. Now’s the time to take a few moments to prep your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer drifts away safeguards it against harsh winter weather that could decrease its life expectancy. A few easy steps are all you’ll need to prime your air conditioner for maximum efficiency come spring.

Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner

As the seasons change, your outdoor AC unit becomes a landing spot for fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a good time to don your work gloves, remove 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 stubborn leaves or twigs that remain nestled in the nooks and crannies and complete a final sweep around the unit. This helps stop winter winds from sending debris back into or underneath your air conditioning system.

Maintain the AC Unit

If you skipped scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a professional technician conduct an AC tune-up before it gets too cold outside. This tune-up and inspection includes measuring the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, checking and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Routine air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and looks for and fixes any minor issues before they morph into expensive problems.

Disconnect Your Air Conditioner

When you’re confident you have used your cooling system for the last time during the summer, locate the condensing unit’s exterior power switch. Open up the protective lid, flip the switch off and make sure to push the lid down again. This effortless action protects you from accidentally turning on the air conditioner during the winter months. Accidentally turning on the air conditioner when the condensing unit is covered with ice could cause permanent damage.

Examine the Exterior Unit

Shutting down yourair conditioning equipment after the cooling season calls for more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also an opportunity to examine the outdoor unit’s condition. Watch out for cracks, dings, rust or other exterior issues. Take an extra moment to check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything looks in order. If you see a concern, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue gets worse. This preventive action helps you reduce the chances of any unpleasant surprises when you turn on your air conditioning after its long winter hibernation.

Guard Your Air Conditioner Against Falling Ice

While some homeowners drape 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, stopping evaporation and encouraging rust or mold proliferation. Rats 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.

While a tarp probably isn’t ideal, shielding your AC from falling icicles is still key to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to cover the top of the air conditioner with plywood weighed down with bricks or large rock to make sure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the AC unit’s sides open to the winter snows should not cause any damage.

Routinely Inspect the Unit

Once your air conditioner is properly winterized, you can’t simply stop thinking about your cooling system until you need it next spring. To make sure it stays in good shape, take a peek at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if necessary and clean off any leaves or pine needles stuck in the condensing unit. Normal winter care helps protect against any nasty scenarios come spring.

Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in the U.S.

Preparing your AC for icy and snowy weather may not be the most glamorous task, but the benefits are considerable. Not only does it reduce the chances of expensive repairs and delays when you are looking to enjoy the 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, turn to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides first-rate service to help our customers avoid HVAC trouble all year. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of understanding 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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