20 Jan

The Dos and Don’ts For Winterizing Your Air Conditioning Unit

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Fall is a time of change. For many homeowners, that means packing up summer gear and getting ready for the holidays, winter weather, and more. One area that often gets overlooked is your outdoor air conditioning unit.

Winterizing Your Air Conditioning Unit

There are many reasons why it’s important and smart to winterize the condenser, which is the unit that sits outside your home. It helps prevent wear and tear caused by the winter elements. This can make it easier to start the AC back up next spring/summer, and extend the service life of the unit (which saves you money).

However, if done incorrectly, winterizing your AC could actually do more harm than good. Here are some easy tips to help you protect and preserve your air conditioning system.

  • Do: Shut off the power to the unit. This way, even if there’s a warm day during the fall or spring, the unit won’t turn on. 
  • Do: Remove any debris stuck in the unit. It’s common for the fins of the condenser to collect leaves, grass clippings, trash, and other materials throughout the summer. 
  • Do: Cover the unit with a sheet of plywood. Adding a protective cover to the top of the condenser prevents debris and moisture from accumulating inside the unit. Cut a section of plywood just larger than the dimensions of the condenser. Position it on top of the unit and place bricks or other weights on the four corners to secure the sheet of wood. 
  • Do: Wax the outside of the unit. An easy trick is to add a coating of car wax to the exterior of the condenser to protect the metal surface from rain, snow, sleet, or whatever else mother nature throws at it. 
  • Don’t: Wrap the condenser in plastic. It may seem like a good idea to encase the entire unit, but this strategy can backfire. First, wrapping it in non-breathable materials will trap moisture inside, which can lead to rusting and other deterioration. Also, you’re creating a dry, safe environment that could attract small animals. 
  • Do: Remove snow and ice through the winter. After each storm, simply brush off the top of the unit and make sure the plywood cover is securely in place.

How to Protect Your Air Conditioner Once Spring Arrives

Now that you know how to winterize your air conditioner, you need to know what to do when spring arrives. Here are some tips:

  • Do: Because of the risk of flooding, you should place your outside unit above the ground. You can place it on a slab. 
  • Do: Make sure that your unit has proper drainage, so it’s not sitting in a puddle of water during rainy days. 
  • Do: After winterizing, most parts should need to be inspected before use. Inspect all of the hoses and connections for any signs of wear or damage. 
  • Do: To protect your unit from direct sunlight and summer weather, it’s a good idea to put up a shade or other shelter. 
  • Don’t: Don’t forget about regular maintenance. Proper care and upkeep can help extend the life of your unit and lower energy costs. 

Top Benefits of Air Conditioning Maintenance

When it comes to air conditioning maintenance, there are many benefits that come with proper upkeep and servicing. The following are some of the top benefits of maintaining your air conditioner:

  1. Enhanced Comfort: Air conditioning maintenance helps to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently throughout the summer, ensuring that you and your family stay comfortable in even the hottest of environments.
  2. Improved Reliability: Regular maintenance ensures that all components of an air conditioning system are working as expected, reducing the likelihood of unplanned repair needs and breakdowns when you need it most.
  3. Longer Life Span: When properly maintained, an air conditioner can last for up to 15 years or more. Regular maintenance ensures the system’s longevity and helps avoid premature replacement costs.
  4. Increased Efficiency: Maintenance helps reduce energy consumption, making your air conditioner more efficient and cost-effective.
  5. Improved Air Quality: Regular maintenance helps keep your air fresh and clean by reducing allergens, dust, and other pollutants that can accumulate in an air conditioning system over time.

Air Conditioning Maintenance And Repair

If you need help making sure your air conditioning is properly winterized and ready for the next cooling season, call Robert B. Payne, Inc. We provide AC maintenance and repair services in Fredericksburg and nearby areas. Schedule an appointment today at (540) 373-5876.