Before Winter Hits, Prepare Your AC Unit

There's a chill in the air, and it won't be long before the weather forecast is calling for snow. You're probably thinking about warmth and heating right now, but don't forget to take a few minutes to think about your air conditioner, too. Winterizing your AC unit before the chilly weather comes rolling in will ensure it's in tip-top shape and ready to serve you next summer.

Invest in the right cover.

If you do not have a cover for your AC unit, now is the time to order one. You don't want to just use a tarp or plastic sheeting, as this may not breathe properly in the areas you need it too. Trapping too much moisture near your AC unit will just lead to rusting and corroded metal. Contact your HVAC technician to order a cover that's specifically made for your unit. Once you follow the other steps described in this article, you can put the cover on to protect the unit from snow, fallen branches, and the other hazards of winter.

Turn off power to the unit.

You don't want to accidentally hit the AC button on your thermostat and have it turn on when there's an abnormally warm winter day. This could cause water to build up in the unit and then freeze, causing components to crack. Turning the power off to the unit will prevent this from happening. There's usually just a switch (under a cover you have to flip open) on the AC unit to turn off power. You may also turn the power off at the circuit breaker if the AC unit is the only thing on that circuit.

Clean out the unit.

Before the weather approaches freezing, use your hose to rinse off the condenser. This will remove any bird droppings, dust, and grass clippings so they don't sit on the AC components and encourage rusting all winter. If the unit is really dirty, you can lightly scrub it with some mild detergent (like dish soap) and water, and then rinse it with the hose.

Trim any bushes, trees, or shrubs near the unit.

A strong breeze can easily crack a tree branch or shrub, sending it flying into your AC unit. Prevent damage by looking over all of your trees and shrubs. Trim away any branches that are dead or appear to be decaying. Also make sure there are no branches that are long enough to rub against the unit, as this may cause scratches that later develop rust.

For more information, contact local professionals like Tropic Air Conditioning INC.