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How to Winterize Your Air Conditioner

ice-developing-on-air-conditionerTemperatures are drastically cooling down now, and chances are that you’re not using your air conditioner much more before next spring. First off, we hope you’ve taken the chance to schedule your heating system maintenance to ensure that your furnace or other heating system is ready to perform safely and effectively this coming winter.

But we also want you think about your air conditioner! While it won’t need maintenance again until spring (assuming you had AC maintenance done last spring), it does need some attention before you just forget about it for the season.

“Winterizing” your cooling system isn’t a complicated process, but it will reward you. You’ll be able to protect it from potential damage, extend its service life, and ensure that it has an easy time operating when it is time to turn it on again next year. So, what are the steps and considerations involved with winterizing your system? Read on!

Take Care of Lingering Repair Needs

The last thing you need is for your air conditioner to go into its winter hibernation with a malfunction that hasn’t been repaired. If you’ve noticed anything amiss with your cooling system’s performance during the last month it was running, it’s a good idea to call for professional services before you take any further steps. This precaution will give you a lot less to worry about next spring.

Shut the AC Off Completely

It isn’t enough to change the thermostat to heating mode—particularly if you follow our later step about covering your air conditioner. Even a brief period of warmth or your thermostat sensing incorrect temperatures indoors can cause the outdoor unit of the AC system to come on when it shouldn’t. If you have your outdoor unit covered, this can be disastrous for the system. If you don’t have it covered, then it can draw water moisture and snow into the outdoor unit, promoting corrosion.

In order to turn the air conditioner off so it won’t come back on accidentally, locate the power switch outside. It’s near the outdoor cabinet under a plastic cover. Flip this cover up, turn the switch to “off,” and you’re good.

Clean Off the Outdoor Cabinet

This doesn’t need to be an extensive task. It simply takes a low-pressured hose to rinse the system off and perhaps a broom to brush away any dirt, debris, or lawn clipping. Also, keeping the surrounding area free from leaves and branches can prevent your outdoor unit from becoming clogged up or otherwise damaged.

Cover the Outdoor Unit with a Waterproof Cover

You can purchase one of these AC covers from a hardware store that’s designed specifically for this purpose. But also, there’s nothing wrong with using a trap to do the job, so long as it’s waterproof. Use bungee cords and luggage ties to secure the cover in place so winter winds don’t rip it off.

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. We are your trustworthy air conditioning repair experts! Contact us today for custom HVAC services and more.

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