Winter Ready: Preparing Air Conditioner for Winter
- Let the AC unit dry completely before continuing to prepare it for the winter.
- Place a waterproof vinyl or plastic cover over the air conditioning unit to insulate it.
- Prepare your air conditioner for winter as early as possible to keep it in pristine condition all year long.
- Insulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing and cover the AC to keep the winter debris off.
Air conditioners are life savers during the summer months, as they keep us cool and comfortable in our homes. However, forgetting about them during winter will lead to a variety of problems that can affect the AC’s performance next summer and cost you money. The frigid weather of winter can have devastating effects on various things around the house, including the air conditioner. You might need to replace your AC unit if you didn’t prepare it for the winter. Here are a few things you can do to prepare your air conditioning unit for the winter.
Turn Off the Power to the Air Conditioner
The exterior power circuit of the AC is found near the unit in a small box. Lift its cover to find the power switch. Flip the switch off to turn off the power, and don’t forget to close the lid. It is essential to turn off the power to the AC so that you can easily do maintenance checks and keep it from firing up on unseasonable warm days. It will also keep the water off the condensing unit and prevent it from freezing. Keep the switch off during the entire winter season.
Clean the AC
Summer is full of life, bugs, leaves, and other debris that can get stuck in the AC unit. Use an air blower and blow away any leaves, dirt, or twigs. Get your garden hose and carefully wash the unit on a low-pressure setting to ensure no dirt or droppings are left there. High-pressure spray can damage the AC’s coils which are essential components in the cooling function. Let the AC unit dry completely before continuing to prepare it for the winter.
Inspect the AC
Take a good look at the unit to find any cracks, leaks, rust, or other problems in the casing. Check the seals to make sure they are tight and not cracked. No matter how small the issue is, it’s better to fix it before winter, as small problems can get worse. If you found any issues, call Sunrise Heating & Plumbing at 616-293-9326 to look at the AC unit and repair it.
Insulate Exterior Pipes
Buy foam pipe covers from any nearby hardware store. Cut the covers and fit them around exterior pipes to protect them from the winter weather, which can freeze them if not insulated. Use duct tape or zip ties to wrap the covers tightly around the pipes, but don’t overdo it as you will have to remove them in the summer.
Cover Your AC
After cleaning the AC, the unit must be protected from snow, ice, and garden debris during winter. Place a waterproof vinyl or plastic cover over the air conditioning unit to insulate it. These covers will protect the AC from the elements in the winter and prevent cracking. You can find these covers at home improvement stores or can also use a tarp to cover the unit instead. However, wrap the tarp around the AC tightly so strong winds won’t blow it away.
Check the AC’s condition every week to make sure the insulation and the covers are in place. Remove any dirt, leaves, twigs, or other debris on and around the unit to prevent them from slipping into it. Clean away water, ice, or snow that might accumulate on the cover to remove its weight from the unit.
Prepare your air conditioner for winter as early as possible to keep it in pristine condition all year long. It is recommended to call HVAC professional services to perform regular maintenance on your AC unit and to help you prepare it for winter. Insulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing and cover the AC to keep the winter debris off.