As the crisp chill of autumn begins permeating the air, you know winter is not far away. Now’s the time to take a few moments to ready your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer drifts away guards it against harsh winter weather that could reduce its life. A few easy steps are all it takes to prime your air conditioner for maximum efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor AC unit often can become filled with fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a good time to put on your work gloves, remove this debris and gently flush out the outdoor condensing unit. Be sure the outside temperature is comfortably above freezing before dousing the unit. Then, get rid of any particularly uncooperative 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 sending debris back into or underneath your air conditioning system.
If you overlooked setting up routine air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a skilled technician conduct an AC tune-up before it gets too chilly. This tune-up and inspection includes measuring the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, examining 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 catches minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.
When you’re confident you have used your AC for the last time during the summer, locate the condensing unit’s outdoor power switch. Open up the protective lid, flip the switch off and put the lid back down. This straightforward action stops you from accidentally turning on the air conditioner during the winter months. Running the AC when the condensing unit is covered with ice may trigger irreparable damage.
Turning off 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. Check for cracks, dings, rust or other external issues. Take an extra moment to check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything appears in order. If you identify a concern, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue gets worse. This prompt move helps you avoid unpleasant surprises when you power up your air conditioner after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners drape their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this strategy often creates more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, stopping evaporation and promoting rust or mold development. Rodents might even view your covered AC unit as a lovely spot to build a winter den, and also bite through essential wiring and provide you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Despite all this, safeguarding your AC from falling icicles is still key to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to shield the top of the air conditioner with some plywood weighed down with a heavy block or large rock to make certain the wind doesn’t blow the wood off. Leaving the AC unit’s sides open to the winter snows should not cause any problems.
Once your outdoor AC unit is properly winterized, you can’t simply ignore it until you need it next spring. To make sure it stays in good shape, glance at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if necessary and clean off any leaves or pine needles embedded in the condensing unit. Routine winter care helps prevent any nasty predicaments come spring.
Preparing your AC for cold temperatures may not be the most glamorous task, but the benefits are significant. 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 boosts your unit’s efficiency and longevity.
For dependable, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides first-rate service to help our customers avoid HVAC challenges all year. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today by calling 866-397-3787. Always remember, taking care of your air conditioning unit today makes for a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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