Weatherizing Your AC For The Winter Months

Winter is coming soon. With the notably colder temperatures, you won't be relying on your air conditioning unit much anymore. This break can be nice for your air conditioner, but only if you take the time to properly winterize your unit and prepare it for the onslaught of cold and snow. Here's how to do that.

Turn the power off

Most outdoor air conditioning units have a power switch that you can flip off. If it does not, you can then power off the unit by turning off the circuit breaker that it's connected to. Most HVAC contractors put their AC units on an independent breaker to make this possible. Turning the power off to your air conditioner ensures it won't accidentally get turned on in the winter, which can be really hard on the unit.

Vacuum out any leaves

Many air conditioners get some leaves in their outer case in the fall. These don't really do much damage, but you don't want to leave them in the air conditioner when you put the cover on. They could hold onto and trap moisture in the air conditioner, leading to premature rust and damage. The easiest way to remove the weeds is often to vacuum them out with a shop vacuum. This keeps you from having to remove the outer cover of your AC unit. Just insert the vacuum wand through the slats on the AC cover and suck up those leaves.

Dry the unit out before putting a cover on

If your air conditioner is at all moist or damp, you'll want to dry it out before putting the cover on for the winter. Wait until it has been dry for a day or two, or else you'll just be making more work for yourself. Set up a fan near the AC unit and let it run for an hour or two in order to dry out the AC and its cage. Then, once you're confident the unit is dry, put the cover on.

Tidy the surrounding trees and bushes

While the cover will mostly protect your AC unit from winter damage, you also want to tidy up any landscaping around the unit. This way, you will reduce the risk of a branch falling on your unit when there's ice or heavy snowfall.

When you follow the advice above, your AC unit should be well prepared for winter. Contact an HVAC contractor if you have any questions.