As the sharp chill of autumn begins to flow through the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to spare a few moments to ready your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer drifts away shields it against extreme winter weather that could decrease its life. A few simple steps are all it takes to prime your air conditioner for peak 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 the ideal time to don your work gloves, remove this debris and gently wash out the outdoor condensing unit. Ensure the outside temperature is adequately above freezing before putting water into the unit. Then, get rid of any tenacious leaves or twigs that remain jammed in the nooks and crannies and perform a final sweep around the unit. This helps prevent winter winds from whisking debris back into or underneath your condenser.
Maintain the AC Unit
If you skipped setting up regular air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a skilled technician conduct an AC tune-up before it is too chilly. This tune-up and inspection includes checking 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 increases efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and looks for and fixes any minor issues before they escalate into expensive problems.
Disconnect Your Air Conditioner
When you’re positive43 you have used your cooling system for the last time during the summer, locate the condensing unit’s exterior power switch. Lift up the protective covering, flip the switch off and put the lid back down. This simple action 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 could cause irreparable damage.
Examine the Exterior Unit
Shutting down your air conditioner 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 external issues. Double-check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything looks in order. If you see a concern, call a professional to service the air conditioner before the issue escalates. This preemptive measure helps you reduce the chances of any unpleasant surprises when you power on your air conditioning 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 technique often causes more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, preventing evaporation and fostering rust or mold development. Mice might even view your covered AC unit as a lovely spot to build a winter den, and also gnaw through essential wiring and create 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 a brick or large rock to make sure the wind doesn’t blow the wood off. Leaving the air conditioning unit’s sides subjected to the winter storms 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 certain it stays in good shape, glance at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if needed and clean off any leaves or pine needles stuck in the condensing unit. Regular winter care helps prevent any nasty scenarios come spring.
Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in Elkhart
Preparing your air conditioning unit for winter weather may not be the most exciting task, but the benefits are significant. Not only does it prevent costly repairs and delays when you want air conditioning next spring, but it also boosts your unit’s efficiency and life expectancy.
For dependable, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, contact BW/Cook Service Experts. Our team provides superb service to help our customers prevent HVAC issues all year-round. With BW/Cook Service Experts by your side, you’ll enjoy the security of knowing your home comfort is in highly capable hands. To schedule an AC repair or maintenance visit, call BW/Cook Service Experts today by calling 574-218-6404. Always remember, taking care of your air conditioner today makes for a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!