A Few Easy Steps to Winterize Your A/C Unit
Winter can be rough. It’s cold and windy and dry. Everything is frozen and your heater is your new best friend. The last thing you’re thinking about is your air conditioner, right? Well you know what’s even rougher than winter? When it’s over and the air conditioner you haven’t thought about for months doesn’t want to work. Harsh winter weather isn’t just tough on us, it’s also tough on our A/Cs. But with a few simple steps before the worst of the winter weather takes hold, you can make sure your HVAC system is ready to go when you need it next summer.
- Cut the Power
Turn your A/C unit’s power off at the exterior circuit. There are a couple of reasons for doing this. First is safety, both yours and your unit’s. You don’t want to damage either when you’re working on the unit. Second, it’ll keep your air conditioner from accidentally coming on during the winter. Your A/C uses water to create cool air. If that water freezes it can damage your condenser.
- Clean the Outside
Give your air conditioner its space. Make sure nothing is hanging around, trim back bushes or trees nearby, and clear away any leaves or grass. Hose off the fan blades and condensing coils. Keeping the outside unit clean and clear of debris will make damage to the unit much less likely when you turn it back on.
- Check for Damage
Look for any signs of damage like cracks, rust or broken seals and take care of them before winter sets in. Moisture and ice will only exacerbate these issues over the coming months. It’s much easier and typically cheaper to fix them now.
- Cover the Unit
Covering your unit can help to protect it from the elements. There are a couple of schools of thought here. You can use something like plywood to cover the top of the unit to keep out debris and ice or you can purchase a cover for the whole unit. The only concern when covering the whole unit is making sure you allow room for it to breathe. Covers can trap moisture and create mold, which is the last thing you want blowing through your HVAC system later.
- Check on the A/C
Make sure to check on your unit periodically throughout the winter months. Keep it clear of debris and any snow and ice that may start to accumulate.
These few simple steps can help to ensure that your air conditioner is ready to go when you need it.