As the sudden chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter is not far away. Now’s the time to set aside a few moments to prep your air conditioning system for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer winds down safeguards it against extreme winter weather that could shorten its lifespan. A few simple steps are all you will need to prime your air conditioner for peak efficiency come spring.
Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner
As the seasons change, your outdoor AC unit often can become filled with fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a handy time to don your work gloves, get rid of this debris and gently hose down the outdoor condensing unit. Be sure the outside temperature is well above freezing before putting water into the unit. Then, take out any tenacious leaves or twigs that remain nestled in the nooks and crannies and perform a final sweep around the unit. This helps protect against winter winds from sending debris back into or underneath your condenser.
Maintain the AC Unit
If you skipped hiring an HVAC specialist to conduct31 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 cold out. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, checking and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Scheduled air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and catches minor issues before they escalate into expensive problems.
Disconnect Your Air Conditioner
When you’re sure43 you have used your AC for the last time this season, locate the condensing unit’s outside power switch. Open up the protective covering, flip the switch off and make sure to push the lid down again. This straightforward move protects you from accidentally activating the air conditioner during the winter months. An unintended switch to cooling mode when the condensing unit is covered with ice may trigger irreversible damage.
Examine the Exterior Unit
Turning off your AC after the cooling season requires more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also an opportunity to examine the outdoor unit’s condition. Check for cracks, dents, rust or other visible issues. Take an extra moment to check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything appears in order. If you spot a concern, call a professional to service the air conditioner before the issue gets worse. This prompt action helps you steer clear of unpleasant surprises when you power up your air conditioner after its long winter hibernation.
Guard Your Air Conditioner Against Falling Ice
While some homeowners shield 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 encouraging rust or mold development. Rats might even view your covered AC unit as the perfect place for 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 protect the top of the air conditioner with a piece of plywood weighed down with a heavy block or large rock to make sure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the outdoor unit’s sides exposed to the winter elements should not cause any harm.
Routinely Inspect the Unit
Once your air conditioner is effectively winterized, you can’t simply stop thinking about it until you need it next spring. To ensure it stays in good shape, glance at your AC about a few times each month. Adjust the plywood if required and remove any leaves or pine needles stuck in the condensing unit. Regular winter care helps protect against any nasty surprises come spring.
Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in Gaithersburg
Preparing your air conditioner for icy and snowy weather may not be the most exciting task, but the benefits are immense. Not only does it prevent pricey repairs and delays when you want air conditioning next spring, but it also encourages your unit’s efficiency and length of service.
For dependable, experienced assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, turn to Parker Pearce Service Experts. Our team provides top-notch service to help our customers reduce HVAC issues all the time. With Parker Pearce Service Experts by your side, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of realizing your home comfort is in highly capable hands. To schedule an AC repair or maintenance visit, call Parker Pearce Service Experts today by calling 301-476-4577. Keep in mind, taking care of your AC today helps create a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!