As the crisp chill of autumn begins to float through the air, you know winter is not far away. Now’s the time to stop and dedicate a few moments to ready your air conditioning system for the off-season. Shutting down your AC as summer winds down safeguards it against extreme winter weather that could reduce its lifespan. A few easy steps are all you will need to prime your air conditioner for peak efficiency come spring.
Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner
As the seasons change, your outdoor AC unit can be filled with debris like fallen leaves and pine cones. This is a good time to put on your work gloves, remove this debris and gently wash out the outdoor condensing unit. Make sure the outside temperature is well above freezing before putting water into the unit. Then, remove any particularly uncooperative leaves or twigs that remain stuck in the nooks and crannies and complete a final sweep around the unit. This helps stop winter winds from sending debris back into or underneath your AC unit.
Maintain the AC Unit
If you skipped scheduling seasonal air conditioning maintenance last spring, it’s still not too late! Arrange to have a certified technician conduct an AC tune-up before it becomes too cold outside. This tune-up and inspection includes determining the refrigerant level and testing for leaks, looking over and tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving elements and testing the system safety controls, among other tasks. Routine air conditioner maintenance improves efficiency, extends your unit’s life span and can find minor issues before they grow into expensive problems.
Disconnect Your Air Conditioner
When you’re confident43 you have used your air conditioner for the last time during the hot summer months, find the condensing unit’s outdoor power switch. Lift up the protective cover, flip the switch off and secure the lid once more. This simple procedure stops you from accidentally activating the air conditioner during the winter months. Running the AC when the condensing unit is covered with ice may trigger irreversible damage.
Examine the Exterior Unit
Powering down your air conditioning equipment after the cooling season involves more than just flicking off a switch. It’s also important to scrutinize the outdoor unit’s condition. Look out for cracks, blemishes, rust or other visible issues. Make sure that all seals and insulation are secure and everything seems in order. If you identify a problem, call a professional to service the air conditioner before the issue becomes an even bigger problem. This preventive move helps you steer clear of unpleasant surprises when you power up your air conditioner after its long winter hibernation.
Guard Your Air Conditioner Against Falling Ice
While some homeowners drape their outdoor air conditioning units with a tarp or a commercially available AC cover, this strategy often causes more problems than it solves. Moisture can condense on the unit through the plastic, blocking evaporation and encouraging rust or mold development. Rats might even view your covered AC unit as the perfect place for winter den, and also bite through essential wiring and leave you with an unwelcome repair bill in the spring.
Even though a covering might not be the best idea, protecting your AC from falling icicles is still key to preventing internal damage. The best compromise is to protect the top of the air conditioner with some plywood weighed down with bricks or large rock to ensure the wind doesn’t blow it away. Leaving the AC unit’s sides open to the winter snows should not cause any harm.
Routinely Inspect the Unit
Once your outdoor AC unit is properly winterized, you can’t simply forget about your cooling system until you need it next spring. To ensure it stays in good shape, glance at your AC about once a week. Adjust the plywood if needed and get rid of any leaves or pine needles stuck in the condensing unit. Normal winter care helps prevent any nasty predicaments come spring.
Schedule Air Conditioning Service Today in Fort Worth
Preparing your air conditioning unit for winter weather may not be the most exciting task, but the benefits are significant. Not only does it help you avoid costly repairs and delays when you want air conditioning next spring, but it also encourages your unit’s efficiency and length of service.
For dependable, expert assistance with the air conditioning tasks outlined above, turn to Stark Services. Our team provides top-notch service to help our customers prevent HVAC issues all the time. With Stark Services by your side, you’ll enjoy the security of realizing your home comfort is in highly capable hands. To schedule an AC repair or maintenance visit, call Stark Services today by calling 817-668-6689. Always remember, taking care of your air conditioner today is the best way to enjoy a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow!