28 Sep

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


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.

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.