Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Winter
With the summer season soon coming to an end, it’s time to prepare yourself for the long, unforgiving winter months. And what better time to start than now?
After all, there are so many things that need to be done, like readying your winter clothes, airing out your warm bedding, and so on. However, more often than not, among the most common things that we tend to neglect to take care is our house and the appliances that come with it—especially our air conditioning units.
As homeowners, the need to prepare our window and wall air conditioners for winter usually comes in last or second-to-last on our to-do lists, when it should be the very first thing you take care of.
It’s no secret that your cooling units require year-round maintenance, and as the device gets older, it’s going to require more servicing.
To avoid any unwanted surprises when the chilly winters begin, it is best recommended that you invest your time in preparing your air conditioner for the new season.
There are a number of things you need to do while preparing your window or wall air conditioner for winter so that when the time comes for you to use it next summer, it runs efficiently and without a hitch.
Many of such tasks require help from professionals and experts, but there is some work homeowners can easily do on their own. If you’re worried about not knowing what to do, then shake off that apprehension. Here’s a list of the things that you can do to prepare your air conditioner for winter.
Inspect the Unit
The first step is to do a thorough inspection of your air conditioner. Carefully take note of all the things that need servicing, such as rusted ends, cracked seals, incessant leaking, and other irregularities that must be taken care of to avoid future problems. If you spot any potential issues, it’s recommended that you seek professional help in such cases and not attempt to fix anything on your own, especially if you are inexperienced.
Clean the Air Conditioner
Once the inspection is out of the way, do an in-depth cleaning of your air conditioner. You should sweep away any leaves or twigs that may have fallen on it. Use a wet cloth to wipe off the crusted mud and anything else that has stuck to your air conditioner.
Using a hose, wash the remaining dirt for a cleaner finish. Let it dry completely. Ensure there aren’t any clogged openings and, finally, see to it that nothing is displaced during the cleaning.
Get It Serviced
If your air conditioner hasn’t been serviced in a while, then it’s strongly recommended that you get that done before the winter months settle in. Winter and summer are an HVAC company’s busiest season, so plan for general service during the off-season.
Servicing becomes even more important when you don’t have the time to inspect and clean off your air conditioning unit yourself. From the compressor to the air filter, every part needs cleaning and servicing from time to time.
If you hear any unusual noises, such as clunking or grinding, get professional help to repair the air conditioner.
Turn Off the Power
Winter is perhaps the only time when your air conditioner is not in use, and in such cases, it’s best to turn off the air conditioner’s power.
You’ll find the power circuit on the side of your switch box—it’s often a reddish color. Flip the switch to ensure it’s off. This will reduce the risk of electrocution while performing the maintenance tasks. It will also keep the water from getting frozen in the condenser.
In general, HVAC professionals recommend that you turn the power off for winter so that it doesn’t turn on its own or before you want it to.
Cover Your Unit
The final step to preparing your air conditioner for winter is to cover it. This is to protect your unit from natural elements like snow, rain, or even dust and debris.
You can opt for a vinyl or plastic-based cover made especially for air conditioners. These can be found at the nearest home appliance store. You can also look out for waterproof ropes to keep the cover in place so that it doesn’t blow away on a windy day.
You need to cover only the top of the air conditioner and not the whole body, say about six inches of the top needs to be covered to prevent it from getting rusted or corroding.
Add an Extra Layer of Protective Insulation
All other parts such as wires or pipes that cannot be covered can be layered with some foam-based insulation so that the harsh winters don’t crack or freeze them. All you need is some foam and a sharp knife to cut through it. Don’t forget to use duct tape to keep the insulation layers in place. Sounds simple, right?
Winter is harsh for a couple of months no matter where you go. It can take a toll on you, your health, and even your home appliances. So you want to take the precautions necessary to get your home systems prepared for the elements.
This is especially true for a delicate and expensive appliance like an air conditioner, which once damaged may never go back to its old working state. So take the above measures to prepare your air conditioner for winter.
Can’t do it on your own? Don’t worry—Entek is here to help.
Being one of the best-trained and -equipped residential, commercial, and industrial HVAC service departments in the Pacific Northwest, we can help you prepare your window or wall air conditioner for winter and get it serviced to ensure it’s in the best working condition.
So contact us today and let us help you with your ventilation, cooling, and heating needs!