As the sudden chill of autumn begins to flow through the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to stop and dedicate a few moments to ready your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer drifts away guards it against extreme winter weather that could reduce its life. A few basic steps are all it takes to prime your air conditioner for peak efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioning system becomes a landing spot for fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a good time to wear your work gloves, clear away this debris and gently wash out the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is comfortably above freezing before dousing the unit. Then, take out any stubborn leaves or twigs that remain stuck in the nooks and crannies and make a final sweep around the unit. This helps prevent winter winds from blowing debris back into or underneath your air conditioning system.
If you missed 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 becomes too cold outside. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, checking and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving components and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Regular air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and can find minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.
When you’re positive you have used your air conditioner for the last time during the summer, look for the condensing unit’s outdoor power switch. Open the protective cover, flip the switch off and put the lid back down. This simple procedure 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 may cause irreversible damage.
Turning off yourAC 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 exterior issues. Make sure that all seals and insulation are secure and everything looks in order. If you see any issues, call a qualified technician to service the air conditioner before the issue gets worse. This preventive move helps you reduce the chances of any unpleasant surprises when you turn on your AC after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners shield 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 fostering rust or mold development. Rodents might even view your covered AC unit as a cozy 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 plywood weighed down with a heavy block or large rock to make certain the wind doesn’t blow the wood off. Leaving the outdoor unit’s sides subjected to the winter elements should not cause any harm.
Once your outdoor AC unit is correctly winterized, you can’t simply ignore your AC until you need it next spring. To make sure it stays in good shape, look at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if required and clean off any leaves or pine needles stuck in the condensing unit. Normal winter care helps prevent any nasty predicaments come spring.
Preparing your air conditioning unit for cold temperatures may not be the most thrilling task, but the benefits are considerable. Not only does it help you avoid costly repairs and delays when you are looking to enjoy the air conditioning next spring, but it also promotes your unit’s efficiency and life expectancy.
For trustworthy, experienced assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides superb service to help our customers avoid HVAC challenges all the time. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of knowing 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. Always remember, taking care of your AC today makes for a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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