With the onset of the cold weather, it is time to turn off the air conditioner and turn on the heater. However, it is important to remember that turning off the air conditioner and preparing it for the cold winter months is a lot more than just flipping the off switch to the air conditioner. You will need to take a variety of different simple steps to get the air conditioner winterized so that it lasts through the winter and is ready to use in the spring once again. Below are some of the different steps that you should take.
1. Turn Power Off to Unit. If the air conditioner is accidentally turned on during the cold winter, it could damage some of the components. You will want to make sure that the air conditioner is completely shut off and that it cannot be accidentally turned on. If there is a breaker that controls the air conditioner, you may want to move it to the off position.
2. Clean Inside and Around the A/C Unit. You will want to make sure that you keep sticks, leaves, and other debris from inside the unit. This can clog the unit and make it less likely to work in the spring. It can also encourage animals and other pests to take up residence which can cause even more damage. You will want to rake leaves and cut down plants around the unit as well so that they do not begin to grow into the unit.
3. Drain Condensation. Another useful step is to clean or drain the air conditioner unit of any moisture buildup. There is typically a drain at the bottom of the unit that will release the moisture. This will prevent mildew, rust, and damage from the water freezing inside the unit. An air conditioning service technician or maintenance company can help with this step as well.
4. Cover Top of Unit. Covering the top of your unit with a piece of plywood can also be useful for protecting your air conditioner. It helps to keep leaves, snow, and debris out of the unit so that it will not be damaged. It is inexpensive but very valuable.
By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your air conditioner is ready for winter. You will find that your air conditioner lasts a lot longer when you take good care of it and get it winterized properly.