Winterizing Your AC Unit

It’s that time of year again—sweaters replace your tank tops, Christmas lights are being hung, and hot cocoa is a sudden necessity. Although it might not be at the top of your to-do list, don’t forget your AC unit. Winterizing your AC unit is an important step to take to ensure that come springtime, your air conditioner actually blows cool air.

Turn Off the AC Unit

The last thing you want on an unusually warm wintery day, is for the air conditioning unit to crank on. This could allow water into the unit, which could potentially freeze. To prevent this, simply switch the unit off. Find the air conditioning circuit, which is located near the unit. There will usually be a plastic or metal covering over the electrical circuit. Open the covering and flip the switch to “off.”

Time for a Wash

Next, it’s time to give your AC unit a little love and care by cleaning it. Start by removing twigs, leaves, branches, etc., that are surrounding the unit. This will prevent any rusting or damage that could occur. It also discourages little critters from nesting near or inside of your unit. After the area’s been cleared, use a garden hose to wash off any bird droppings, dirt, and debris. Be sure to clean the fan blades and condensing coils as well.

Install Foam Pipe Covers

If you have any exposed pipes, install foam pipe covers to insulate the pipes. This will protect them from freezing temperatures. Simply cut the foam to fit the length that you need. Use duct tape to hold the foam covers in place.

Cover It Up

Some debate whether it’s necessary to cover your HVAC unit or not during wintertime. The units are designed to stay outside after all. That being said, covering your AC unit with a breathable, waterproof vinyl or plastic covering can keep your unit from being damaged by wet leaves and debris that could potentially lead to rusting or freezing of the internal elements.

If you don’t have an AC unit cover, you can place a large square of plywood on top of the system. Weigh the plywood down with a big rock or heavy brick to keep it in place. This will keep any leaves, debris, snow, and ice from getting inside of your unit.

Wrap It Tight

Use vinyl ropes or bungee cords to wrap the cover tightly around the AC unit cover. Make sure the cover is secure enough, so that it doesn’t blow away in fierce winds. On occasion, check the AC unit to brush off any ice or snow that may collect on the cover.

For Window Units

If you have a window AC unit in your home, all you need to do is remove it and store it away for the winter. If it is an AC unit that cannot be removed, simply close the vents and cover the unit in a waterproof and breathable cover, similar to the outdoor AC unit.

It doesn’t take long to winterize your AC unit, but it can make a world of difference. If you take the proper steps to care for your unit, you can be assured that as soon as the sun is blazing outdoors once again, you’ll stay cool and refreshing inside your home. For questions about your HVAC systems or to schedule a repair, contact Air Advice Heating & Cooling, LLC.

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