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End of Season AC Tips for Long Lasting Performance

outdoor-ac-unitsIf you want your air conditioner to last for as many years as possible, you have to take care of it. This means scheduling maintenance for it once a year so our technicians can thoroughly clean and inspect it for problems. It also means that as we approach the cooler months of the year, it’s time to think about winterizing the system.

True, we’re not there quite yet! But now is a good time to start thinking about your AC needs so you can first take care of any pending repairs, and then begin the shutting down process. Otherwise, you can’t trust that your air conditioner will simply leap to life next year when you need it again. Cooling systems simply don’t work that way!

The good news is, we have a few steps to share with you that you can take once you’re ready to turn your AC off for the season so it will remain in good condition over its winter break and greet you with great performance next year! Read on.

“Wait, I Can’t Just Turn It Off from the Thermostat?”

This is what many homeowners think we mean by “turning off the air conditioner,” but that isn’t actually enough. You’re not actually turning off the air conditioner in this case. But there are a few basic steps you can take to completely turn it off in order to protect it until next spring.

“Why Do I Have to Fully Turn It Off?”

“After all, since I won’t be using it once winter comes, it won’t be turning on, right?”

Well, yes, but the fact of the matter is that it is easy, especially when there are occasional heat waves, for the air conditioner to turn itself back on for a short period of time. This isn’t something you want to happen since it means the outdoor cabinet will drain in water from the outdoors inside it, promoting rust. You need to have your air conditioner powered off and the cabinet protected.

“Okay, So, How Do I Do That?”

Here’s what you should do once temperatures have dropped low enough to stop using your system for the season:

  • Located your outdoor breaker switch for the air conditioner. This should be near the condenser cabinet under a flip lid. Open this lid and turn the switch to “off.” This way, your air conditioner won’t turn on accidentally (of course, be sure to remember in the spring that you need to flip this switch again to get the air conditioner working).
  • Brush off the condenser cabinet and move away rocks, leaves, branches, and other debris from around it. This prevents objects from getting stuck inside the cabinet over the winter, when winds may send debris gusting through the grill.
  • Clean off your condenser’s cabinet with a low-pressure hose. It’s important that it’s not high-pressured, as this can damage the coils of the system.
  • Once the condenser cabinet is completely dried from washing it down, put a waterproof cover over it. You can purchase one at a hardware store, but it’s also totally acceptable to use a waterproof tarp that’s big enough to completely cover the unit. Strap something like bungee cords around the cover to secure it in place so it won’t be torn off during heavy inclement weather.

Remember, it’s important that if you have any pending AC repairs, you take care of them sooner rather than later—then your system will have an even greater chance of a long and effective service life.

Cool Sunshine Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. has been serving the Metro Denver area since 1997. We are one big happy family, and we’d like you to become a part of it! Contact us today for custom HVAC services, quality AC repair services, and more.

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