Use These Guidelines For Winterizing Your Air Conditioner

by Greg Leisgang on November 4, 2011

Posted in: Air Conditioners

In the fall, along with the other steps you take to winterize your home, you should also take certain precautions to prepare your air conditioner for the cold weather ahead. Properly winterizing your air conditioner using the following simple tips can protect it from potential damage, helping to ensure that it starts up smoothly again next spring.

  • Although it may come as a surprise, air conditioners contain small heating elements that continue to draw power even when they are not operating. Shutting off all power to the unit can prevent this problem, and save you money all winter long. Some A/C units have shut-off switches located near the unit itself. If yours doesn't, you may need to shut off power at the main breaker box instead.
  • Cleaning dirt and debris away from the outdoor condensing unit is the next step in winterizing your air conditioner. Use a broom to remove large debris like leaves and sticks. For dirt and smaller debris, use a hose with a spray nozzle to wash the unit, allowing it to dry completely to prevent rust.
  • To help protect the condensing unit from the elements, cover it with a breathable cover specifically designed for air conditioners. Avoid using plastic bags or sheeting as a makeshift cover, since condensation can form under plastic, potentially leading to rust or water damage.
  • During the winter, brush away any snow or ice that accumulates on top of the condensing unit. This helps prevent the weight of the snow from damaging the unit.

These simple steps, most of which can usually be accomplished in a single afternoon, can help protect your air conditioner all winter long.

If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area and would like to learn more about winterizing your air conditioner, contact the HVAC experts at JonLe Heating & Cooling.

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