While an air conditioner's condenser is built to handle the outdoor weather in the winter, there are a couple steps you should take to help minimize the potential damage that can occur. When the cold temperatures of winter come, make sure to do these three things.
Do Not Turn The Air Conditioner On In The Winter
This may seem obvious, but an air conditioner can be accidentally turned on during the winter months. You may have forgotten to change your thermostat settings, and a particularly warm day could activate your condenser. This will cause problems as water runs through the condenser, freezes, and can potentially cause a lot of damage after the temperature falls back down below freezing.
In order to prevent accidental activation from occurring, you should turn off your air conditioner using the main shut offs. It could be located directly next to the air conditioner on the side of your home, or you may need to turn off the circuit breaker inside your home. It takes a few seconds, and it can save you from a costly repair.
Keep The Condenser's Fins Clear
The condenser may see a build up of snow around it throughout the winter, and the constant thawing and freezing can cause damage to the condenser. Try to keep the area surrounding the condenser as clear as possible to avoid problems. It is important that the fins on the condenser maintain their shape to keep the unit working efficiently. Unfortunately, there is a chance that snow and water can get between the fins, freeze, and cause the fins to become deformed.
Use a shovel and brush to get rid of any snow that collects on the condenser and in the fins. If icicles hang off your roof directly above the condenser, carefully break them off to prevent water from dripping directly onto the condenser.
Purchase A Vinyl or Plastic Cover
The best way to prevent moisture from getting into the condenser is by using a vinyl or plastic cover. Once you have the condenser covered, you need to secure the cover in place using bungee cords or tie rope along the bottom. It not only will prevent moisture from getting in, but will stop animals from creating a nest under the unit as well.
By following these tips, you will be taking some additional steps to help ensure your air conditioner's condenser makes it through the rough winter. If your air conditioner doesn't make it, contact a local HVAC technician from a company like McFoy Refrigeration, Inc. to get it up and running for you in the spring.