How to Prepare Your Outside AC Unit for Winter

AC units don’t just require attention during the summer months.  To be sure your AC unit will last for many years to come, it is important to take care of it all year long.  This included preparing it to withstand the cold this winter.  As you begin to prepare for winter in other ways, also consider taking the time to make sure your AC unit is also winter-ready so that it will run smoothly each and every summer. Man replacing air filters

Clean the AC Unit

Clearing the area around the air conditioning unit will prevent clogs from occurring during the idle winter months.  Clean off any dust or debris, leaves, or twigs that have accumulated during the summer.  Use a hose to spray it wash off dirt and allow it to dry.  Cleaning the unit once in the spring before you turn it on and once in the fall after you are done for the summer season will keep it in tip-top shape all year long.

Turn Off the Power

Next to your air conditioner outside is a small box that is the power circuit for the unit.  Located under the plastic cover is a small red switch that will turn off all power to the AC unit. Flip this switch to the off position to turn off the power.  Not only is turning the unit off crucial avoiding electrocution when performing any other maintenance task during the fall, but it is also beneficial for keeping out water that could freeze and cause damage to the unit.

Carefully Inspect the Unit

At the end of the summer season, give your air conditioner a once over inspection.  Be on the lookout for cracks, rust spots, possible leaks, or any other major issue that catches your eye.  Cracks or leaks might not seem like a big deal at the moment but they cause larger problems when you turn your AC on again next summer.  If you spot something, contact an ac technician right away to have them come out and check it.  Having an expert HVAC technician perform an annual maintenance inspection is always recommended anyway.  So, let them have a look and ensure your AC unit is winter-ready and prepared for next summer as well.

Cover the Air Conditioner

Protect your unit from the outside elements such as rain, snow, wind, or ice by covering it each fall.  Covering it with a waterproof plastic or vinyl cover will keep it from cracking and protect it from wear and tear.  While you can make any cover work, there are covers that are specifically made to cover and protect your AC during the cold, harsh winter months.  Check local hardware stores to see if they carry AC covers.  If you choose to use a tarp or other cover that you already have, be sure to secure it with rope or bungee cords so it doesn’t blow away in weather.

If you ever have a concern that your AC isn’t working properly or isn’t winter-ready, Comfort Experts is here to help.  Call our offices to schedule a visit with an expert HVAC technician to come out and take a look.