During the winter months, your air conditioner is most likely not a top priority, but it should be. Cold weather can be harsh on your air conditioner and damage its components if you do not take action to protect it before the warm weather turns cold. To help ensure your investment is properly prepared for the cold, here are some tips for winterizing your air conditioner.
Turn Off the Main Energy Source to the Unit
On the occasional warm day during the winter, your air conditioner could flip on and suck in water that is on the outside of the unit. When the weather turns cold again, the water in the unit can freeze and cause problems. The moisture can also lead to mold and mildew growing within your unit.
The electrical circuit to the unit is usually affixed to your home and covered by a plastic or metal lid. Flip the switch within the circuit to turn off the energy source.
Wash the Unit
Throughout the summer, your unit most likely picked up debris, such as leaves and dirt. The debris can wind up inside of your unit and clog it up. When you do turn on your unit once the weather warms up, the debris could be pushed out into your home by the air conditioner.
Before washing the unit, use a broom to help remove the dirt from the exterior of the unit. You can then use a garden hose to wash the exterior. Wait for the unit to dry before continuing the winterization process.
Protect the Unit from the Weather
During the winter, cold air can cause the pipes leading from the air conditioner to freeze. If there is any water or other liquids within the pipes, they could possibly burst. To avoid a costly repair, wrap your pipes in a foam covering. Use tape to secure the coverings and ensure the unit is protected.
In addition to protecting the pipes, you also need to cover the air conditioner unit. The covering you choose needs to be durable and waterproof. Ideally, you should select a covering that is designed for air conditioners.
Consult with your air conditioner repair technician (like Doctor Fix-It) to learn if there are other steps you should take to winterize your specific air conditioner. Your technician can also ensure that your air conditioner is in good condition so that when you turn it back on once the weather warms up, it will properly work.