When winter peeks around the corner, it’s time to brace yourself for the cold weather ahead. One crucial thing to remember when winterizing your home is your air conditioner. Throughout the winter, ice, water, and debris collect in and around your unit. Without proper care, your AC can clog, rust, and deteriorate.
As a homeowner, you can benefit from learning a few tips on how to prepare an air conditioner for winter. If you need help preparing your AC, contact the friendly contractors at Sun Air Services. Call (813) 694-8989 to schedule service and learn about their AC services.
Before you begin, turn your AC unit off.
• Find the on/off switch, which usually is under a metal or plastic lid on the outdoor system.
• Flip the switch to the off position.
Turning the unit off reduces the risk of electrocution during maintenance.
Also, if you switch off the power at the thermostat, your unit may turn on during surprisingly warm winter days. If that happens, water may get pulled into the coils and freeze, leading to rust or corrosion.
Sweep off any twigs, leaves, and other gunk accumulated on and around the AC. Then use a garden hose to wash off dust and dirt, or wipe the unit with a wet cloth and let it dry. Cleaning the AC prevents it from clogging when you start it up again in the warmer weather months.
Cleaning also discourages small animals from burrowing into your unit over the winter. Routine maintenance tasks such as replacing the filter and cleaning dirty coils on AC can also come in handy.
Look for rust, cracks, leaks, or other irregularities in the AC’s casing. You also must make sure the seals are tight and not cracked. While these may seem like minor issues, they may cause severe problems in the future. If you notice any problems during a visual inspection of your unit, don’t hesitate to contact a licensed HVAC contractor.
A cover protects your AC from falling ice, debris, and other buildups that can get lodged in your system over winter. Before covering your AC, make sure it’s dry. Once it is dry, you can cover it with a waterproof vinyl or plastic cover to protect it from strong winds and harsh weather. Alternatively, you may use a bungee cord or vinyl rope to secure a waterproof tarp around the unit.
Don’t forget to cover your pipes. Without proper coverage, they can freeze and burst when the temperatures drop. Foam pipe covers can come in handy for protecting your pipes from freezing and cracking. Start by installing premade elbow-shaped foam covers on the corners of the pipes.
Once you’ve covered the corners, measure the length of the exposed pipe and use a knife to cut foam to fit the pipe’s length. Make sure the foam fits snugly around the pipe. If the foam fits loosely, use duct tape to keep it in place.
Continue to perform AC maintenance once a week by sweeping away leaves, pinecones, ice, twigs, and other debris that may fall on your unit. You should also brush off snow and ice that may have accumulated on the AC’s cover to free it of unnecessary weight. If you find that the cover has moved, adjust it appropriately.
If you live in a warmer climate where winters don’t go below freezing, winterizing your AC is a much simpler process. You’ll still need to turn off the power and clean the unit, but you typically won’t need to cover the pipes or the unit. In warmer climates, covering your AC may increase the possibility of mold and mildew growth due to excess moisture.
AC maintenance is more than an annual task in which an HVAC professional services your system. Regular AC maintenance will minimize your unit’s need for repair, increase its efficiency, and extend its useful life.
If you’re looking for trustworthy air conditioning experts in Ruskin, call the team of experts at Sun Air Services. Dial (813) 694-8989 to learn more about their services and set up an appointment.