How to Prepare an Outdoor Air Conditioner Unit for Winter

How to Prepare an Outdoor Air Conditioner Unit for Winter

October 26, 2018

The air conditioner is your hero during the hot summer months, but the outdoor unit’s work is done once the leaves begin to fall in the autumn. The AC will take the next few months off while the furnace takes over the job of keeping the home comfortable. That means it’s time to winterize your AC unit to protect it against snow, cold and ice.

Heating and cooling units require year-round care to keep them running smoothly and efficiently. Winterizing your AC now ensures it will still be ready once the warm temperatures return next spring and can help you avoid the need for premature air conditioning installation in San Antonio, TX. As a homeowner, you should perform a few simple tasks to winterize your air conditioner:

  • Shut off the power: Start by flipping the exterior power circuit to the “off” position. This will eliminate the chance of electrocution while maintaining the unit and will keep it from automatically switching on during an unseasonably hot day. Make sure to properly close the metal or plastic cover protecting the switch to keep out any water that might freeze and break the condensing unit.
  • Clean up: Sweep away any leaves and debris stuck along the bottom of the air conditioner, then wash the unit with a hose to clean it of any dirt, dust, bird droppings and dead bugs. Let the unit fully dry. This will help stop clogging, damage and rust to the unit. Plus, it will also eliminate the likelihood of any rodents from making a temporary home inside the system.
  • Inspect: Thoroughly examine the entire exterior of the AC in search of any signs of cracks and rusting in the casing. Check for any leaks and make sure the seals are tight, without any cracks. If you find any, contact an HVAC contractor to repair the problems before the cold temperatures hit. Otherwise, these seemingly small problems could escalate, potentially leaving you with no choice but to pay for air conditioning installation in San Antonio, TX come summer.
  • Add insulation: Cover all the exposed pipes and wiring with foam covers—the foam should be cut to fit the diameter and length of the pipe. Wrap duct tape around the foam to hold it in place. The foam provides extra insulation for the pipes and protects them against the freezing temperatures.
  • Cover it up: Next, tightly wrap a cover around the entire exterior of the air conditioner before securing it with vinyl ropes or bungee cords.
  • Check regularly: Continue to check and maintain the AC throughout the fall and winter months. Take special care to remove any water or ice that has accumulated on top of the cover and clear away any debris.

Air conditioning maintenance should happen all year. Regularly maintaining your AC will reduce the need for repairs, improve efficiency and increase the lifespan of the unit. The experts at Air Conditioning Unlimited LLC can help with every step, whether it’s maintenance or air conditioner installation in San Antonio, TX. Call us today to learn more!

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