As Labor Day draws closer and cooler weather is just around the corner, it is time to think about winterizing your home. The outside air conditioning unit your family has been using all Summer to stay cool is one of the first appliances you should consider winterizing. During the winter season, protecting your A/C unit from cold weather, ice and snow is important to extending the lifespan of your machine, and ensuring it works properly next summer. To keep your cooling system in excellent working condition, follow the following tips.
First you’ll want to locate the circuit on the outside of your home and switch your air conditioner off. Switching the power off at the source will protect you from electrical shocks while working on winterizing the machine. Shutting down the power will also prevent the air conditioner from accidentally turning on during the winter which could allow water to seep in to the mechanism and cause serious damage and rust. Next, you’ll need to clean the air conditioner by washing it with a hose to remove any debris from the machine. Remove any stubborn items like leaves, grass clippings and branches by hand. Allow for enough time for the unit to fully dry before moving on to the next step, covering the cooling system. All parts of the air conditioner must be covered in preparation for winter. Start by covering the exposed pipes leading to and from the machine with foam pipe covers. The foam covers insulate the pipes and protect them from freezing and breaking during sub-zero temperatures. The main unit should be covered by a tight fitting plastic or vinyl cover. Make sure that the cover is waterproof. Duct tape can be used to hold covers in place. You should check to make sure the coverings are secure at least once every month during summer months. Brush off any snow, ice, and debris each time you check the system.
Any debris that penetrate your coverings can cause serious and long term damage to your cooling unit. If you take care to properly winterize your system, when Summer comes again you’ll be able to re-connect power and start it up again with no problems. Although proper preventative measures are a great start, you should also schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional to come and clean and service your A/C before you put it into use. Scheduling an appointment before the heat of Summer descends in your region will save you from long waits for service calls, so it is recommended that you make your appointment early.
Air conditioning maintenance is a project many homeowners are comfortable doing them selves, but others choose to employ a HVAC professional for the job. To prepare my A/C for winter I chose Denver’s best heating and cooling specialist, Million Air Mechanical to install my air conditioning system. They are also very skilled in problems with heating systems.
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