Don’t Neglect Your Air Conditioner this Winter

As the crisp chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to take a few moments to prep your air conditioning system for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer drifts away guards it against harsh winter weather that could decrease its life. A few easy steps are all you’ll need to prime your air conditioner for optimum efficiency come spring.

Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner

As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioner often can become filled with fallen leaves and pine cones. This is the ideal time to put on your work gloves, get rid of this debris and gently wash out the outdoor condensing unit. Ensure the outside temperature is adequately above freezing before using the garden hose to clean out the unit. Then, get rid of any tenacious leaves or twigs that remain nestled in the nooks and crannies and complete a final sweep around the unit. This helps stop winter winds from sending debris back into or underneath your condenser.

Maintain the AC Unit

If you overlooked scheduling seasonal air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a certified technician conduct an AC tune-up before it becomes too chilly. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, looking over and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Scheduled air conditioner maintenance increases efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and looks for and fixes any minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.

Disconnect Your Air Conditioner

When you’re positive you have used your AC for the last time during the summer, look for the condensing unit’s exterior power switch. Open the protective cover, flip the switch off and put the lid back down. This simple action stops you from accidentally running the air conditioner during the winter months. An unintended switch to cooling mode when the condensing unit is covered with ice could trigger permanent damage.

Examine the Exterior Unit

Turning off yourair conditioner after the cooling season requires more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also a good time to take a good look at the outdoor unit’s condition. Watch out for cracks, blemishes, rust or other visible issues. Double-check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything looks in order. If you see a problem, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue escalates. This preventive measure helps you reduce the chances of any unpleasant surprises when you power up your AC 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 tactic often creates 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 the perfect place for a winter den, and also gnaw through essential wiring and leave you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.

Even though a covering might not be the best idea, protecting your AC from falling icicles is still essential to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to protect the top of the air conditioner with some plywood weighed down with a brick or large rock to ensure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the air conditioning unit’s sides open to the winter storms should not cause any damage.

Routinely Inspect the Unit

Once your outdoor AC unit is effectively winterized, you can’t simply forget about your cooling system until you need it next spring. To ensure it stays in good shape, take a peek at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if necessary and clean off any leaves or pine needles caught in the condensing unit. Routine winter care helps avoid any nasty scenarios come spring.

Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in the U.S.

Preparing your AC for cold temperatures may not be the most glamorous task, but the benefits are considerable. Not only does it reduce the chances of costly repairs and delays when you are looking to enjoy the air conditioning next spring, but it also promotes your unit’s efficiency and length of service.

For reliable, experienced assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, turn to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our team provides first-rate service to help our customers avoid HVAC trouble all the time. With Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing by your side, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of realizing 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 air conditioner today is the best way to enjoy a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!

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