As the crisp chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter is not far away. 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 guards it against severe winter weather that could shorten its lifespan. A few easy steps are all it takes to prime your air conditioner for optimum efficiency come spring.
Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner
As the seasons change, your outdoor air conditioning system can be filled with debris like fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a good time to don your work gloves, clear away this debris and gently wash out the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is adequately above freezing before dousing the unit. Then, remove any particularly uncooperative leaves or twigs that remain stuck in the nooks and crannies and perform a final sweep around the unit. This helps protect against winter winds from blowing debris back into or underneath your condenser.
Maintain the 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 is too chilly. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, looking over and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving elements and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Scheduled air conditioner maintenance increases efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and can find minor issues before they escalate into expensive problems.
Disconnect Your Air Conditioner
When you’re confident43 you have used your cooling system for the last time during the summer, look for the condensing unit’s exterior power switch. Lift up the protective covering, flip the switch off and make sure to push the lid down again. This simple action prevents you from accidentally running the air conditioner during the winter months. An unintended switch to cooling mode when the condensing unit is covered with ice might create irreparable damage.
Examine the Exterior Unit
Shutting down your AC after the cooling season involves more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also an opportunity to scrutinize the outdoor unit’s condition. Watch out for cracks, dings, rust or other external issues. Make sure that all seals and insulation are secure and everything seems in order. If you see any issues, call a professional to service the air conditioner before the issue escalates. This preemptive move helps you avoid unpleasant surprises when you fire up your AC after its long winter hibernation.
Guard Your Air Conditioner Against Falling Ice
While some homeowners drape their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this tactic often brings about more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, preventing evaporation and encouraging rust or mold proliferation. Rodents might even view your covered AC unit as a cozy winter den, and also bite through crucial wiring and create an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
While a tarp probably isn't ideal, protecting your AC from falling icicles is still critical to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to cover the top of the air conditioner with a piece of plywood weighed down with a heavy block or large rock to make sure the wind doesn’t knock it over. Leaving the outdoor unit’s sides exposed to the winter snows should not cause any harm.
Routinely Inspect the Unit
Once your air conditioner is properly winterized, you can’t simply ignore about it until you need it next spring. To ensure it stays in good shape, take a peek at your AC about every week or so. Adjust the plywood if needed and clean off any leaves or pine needles stuck in the condensing unit. Normal winter care helps prevent any nasty predicaments come spring.
Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in Memphis
Preparing your air conditioning unit for icy and snowy weather may not be the most exciting task, but the benefits are immense. Not only does it prevent expensive repairs and delays when you are looking to enjoy the air conditioning next spring, but it also promotes your unit’s efficiency and life expectancy.
For dependable, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, turn to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Our team provides superb service to help our customers prevent HVAC issues all the time. With Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning by your side, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of realizing your home comfort is in professional hands. To schedule an AC repair or maintenance visit, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today by calling 901-235-1196. Always remember, taking care of your AC today helps create a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!