It’s Winterizing Time
It seems like just a few weeks ago those of us in Vancouver, Wa were sweltering in 90+ degree temperatures and now the mercury is going south faster than the geese can. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. But before you head for Phoenix to melt, there are concerns your home might be facing in dealing with extremely low temperatures and ice. Below are some tips for protecting (“winterizing”) your air conditioning unit and preparing your home for the cold months ahead.
The nightmare scenario – you have survived winter and are headlong into July, when out of nowhere, the year’s first 100 degree day; unfortunately, the first use of the air conditioning unit reveals something is wrong. For those of us who depend on air conditioning like we do, well, air, this is truly a frightening thought.
The best way to ensure that this does not happen to you is to winterize your outdoor AC unit and take necessary precautions for winter inside as well. Here is a list of services a reliable HVAC company can provide:
Preparing for an HVAC company winterization visit (something you can do yourself)
Before the HVAC company arrives to professionally winterize your system, you can do a couple of simple things. To ensure the health of your outdoor AC system, the first step is to turn the unit off at the at the AC circuit box that should be close by. By cutting the supply, you can save money on electricity and also guarantee that the unit is not accidentally turned on during the winter, which could be disastrous. Next is cleaning debris inside the unit that naturally accumulates throughout the year: twigs, leaves, dirt, and other debris should be removed. Brushing away debris in a small radius around the unit is also advisable to prevent small animals from taking refuge in your system. Note: after the completion of the professional winterization process, you should find a suitable cover for the top of your unit. The easiest solution (not the best) is a piece of plywood to cover the top vent, but you may have something even more suitable – some people choose to wrap the unit like a Christmas present for maximum protection.
An HVAC company can professionally wrap exposed pipes connected to the unit with foam or other materials that will protect them for the months ahead. Even small cracks or seal leaks can create an expensive problem. Excessive moisture that accumulates on your unit can quickly become ice, and because freezing temperatures expand the water molecules, there is a danger of physical damage (remember what happens when you leave a beverage in the freezer and forget about it). It’s a powerful force.
Covering dedicated AC vents is also worthwhile. These vents present an easy path for cold air to invade your home, fighting the precious heat you are warming your house with. A professional will know exactly what can be covered and what cannot. But what an HVAC technician can offer goes much further.
Maximizing your HVAC visit
Sealing your outdoor AC unit and protecting it from the wintry weather is a good step, but there are important services that should accompany this process. An HVAC professional can thoroughly clean your vents, check for any damage or leaks in your outdoor unit, and maximize the efficiency of your heat output. Analyzing your home’s efficiency is done with the latest tools in technology which can determine where there are drafts, lost heat, and fluctuating temperatures throughout your home.
Special offers, such as the Home Performance Energy Test from Entek HVAC, can give your home a thorough examination without breaking the bank (limited time offer).
An AC system that is properly winterized will add longevity to your valuable investment and ensure that when those peak temperatures suddenly come, your system will be healthy and ready to provide you with sweet, cool relief.
Contact Entek HVAC of Vancouver, WA, to Schedule a Visit
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