What Everyone Needs To Know About HVAC Systems

Preparing Your Air Conditioner For Winter: Four Steps To Take

by Amelia Martin

When hot summer days are nearly gone, it's time to start thinking about winterizing your air conditioner. This can help to make sure your unit is ready to power on next year, which can help to reduce costly repairs to your HVAC system. Here are a few important steps to take to winterize your AC.

Have Your HVAC System Inspected

Having your HVAC system inspected should be part of your regular maintenance plan. Having this done at the change of the season will help you to get any repairs done now instead of when on that first hot day of summer hits. Have your HVAC specialist perform an inspection, change the air filters and clean out the ductwork to get the system read for winterizing. Cleaning out the ductwork can also double as prep for your heating system.

Clean The Exterior Unit

Over the course of the summer, your exterior air conditioner unit may have picked up mud, bugs and other type of dirt. Hosing off the unit will keep it clean and prevent critical components from becoming clogged. Remove any sticks, leaves or debris that may be on the ground near the air conditioner, as animals may try to use the debris as shelter from the warmth. Small rodents can damage the wiring for your air conditioner, so it's a good idea to eliminate any reason for them to be near the unit.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

Just as you would with your interior plumbing, be sure to insulate any exterior pipes running from the unit to your home. This will prevent freezing and damage. You can use foam cut to fit the pipes as insulation. Secure the foam in place with strong tape at each end and in the middle. This can also provide an added layer of protection against snow and ice, which can cause the pipes to freeze.

Cover The Unit

You can purchase covers for your air conditioner that keep dirt and debris away from the unit during the winter months. The cover should be secured with bungee cords to keep it in place during windy weather. To provide added protection against snow and ice, consider placing a piece of plywood over the top of the unit before placing the cover on. This will help to disperse the weight of heavy snow to prevent damage.

Your HVAC repair person can handle any problems that might come up with your system, but winterizing your unit can prevent some of those issues. Use this guide to get your AC ready to rest in winter.