As the crisp chill of autumn begins permeating the air, you know winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to spare a few moments to ready your air conditioner for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer wanes safeguards it against severe winter weather that could decrease its life span. A few simple steps are all it takes to prime your air conditioner for peak efficiency come spring.
As the seasons change, your outdoor AC unit can be filled with debris like fallen leaves and pine cones. This is the ideal time to don your work gloves, remove this debris and gently hose down the outdoor condensing unit. Ensure the outside temperature is well above freezing before using the garden hose to clean out the unit. Then, remove any stubborn leaves or twigs that remain nestled in the nooks and crannies and complete a final sweep around the unit. This helps prevent winter winds from sending debris back into or underneath your AC unit.
If you missed scheduling regular air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a certified technician conduct an AC tune-up before it gets too cold out. This tune-up and inspection includes checking the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, checking and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Regular air conditioner maintenance enhances efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and catches minor issues before they morph into expensive problems.
When you’re positive you have used your air conditioner for the last time during the summer, look for the condensing unit’s exterior power switch. Lift up the protective lid, flip the switch off and secure the lid once more. This simple action prevents you from accidentally activating the air conditioner during the winter months. An unintended switch to cooling mode when the condensing unit is covered with ice could create irreversible damage.
Shutting down yourAC after the cooling season requires more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also important to scrutinize the outdoor unit’s condition. Watch out for cracks, dents, rust or other exterior issues. Double-check that all seals and insulation are secure and everything appears in order. If you spot a concern, call a certified specialist to service the air conditioner before the issue escalates. This prompt action helps you reduce the chances of any unpleasant surprises when you power on your AC after its long winter hibernation.
While some homeowners drape 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, preventing evaporation and promoting rust or mold growth. Rodents might even view your covered AC unit as the perfect place for a winter den, and also bite through crucial wiring and provide you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Even though a covering might not be the best idea, shielding your AC from falling icicles is still critical to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to shield the top of the air conditioner with some plywood weighed down with a brick or large rock to ensure the wind doesn’t blow the wood off. Leaving the air conditioning unit’s sides exposed to the winter elements should not cause any problems.
Once your air conditioner is properly winterized, you can’t simply ignore your cooling system until you need it next spring. To ensure it stays in good shape, glance at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if needed and remove any leaves or pine needles embedded in the condensing unit. Regular winter care helps prevent any nasty scenarios come spring.
Preparing your AC for winter weather may not be the most glamorous task, but the benefits are significant. Not only does it prevent pricey repairs and delays when you need air conditioning next spring, but it also encourages your unit’s efficiency and longevity.
For dependable, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, turn to Levy & Son Service Experts. Our team provides top-notch service to help our customers prevent HVAC challenges all year. With Levy & Son Service Experts by your side, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your home comfort is in highly capable hands. To schedule an AC repair or maintenance visit, reach out to Levy & Son Service Experts today by calling 469-250-0932. Remember, taking care of your AC today helps create a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!
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