In the northern hemisphere, winter is well on its way. And with winter comes bad weather, rainfall, snowfall, and low temperature that can wreak havoc on your property. One of the main things to prepare for winter is your precious air conditioner. These appliances are quite expensive and essential for comfort in your home, so you want to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible to avoid expensive malfunctions. So what should you do with your air conditioner in winter?
Clear the space around your unit
If you don’t like winter and don’t want to spend one second longer in the cold than necessary, it’s important to start maintaining your AC unit before the coldest of weather hits. To get your AC ready for winter, start by clearing out the space around it. Make sure to remove all the bushes, grass, fallen leaves, and debris from the site. Make sure that your AC unit has at least 12 inches of “breathing space” all around it. This will provide you with easy access to the unit in case something happens and save you a lot of time and hassle during summer temperatures.
Clean it well
Next, it’s important to give your AC a thorough clean in preparation for winter. Most central air conditioning systems are made up of several components that cool your home together—the outside unit being one of the most important ones. The outside unit has coils, fans, and other moving parts that suck the heat out of your space. However, in the process, the unit can get filled with all sorts of dirt and debris, preventing it from running perfectly.
To clean your AC, shut off the main power through an outdoor switch or via your electrical box (somewhere inside your house). Then, grab a garden hose and set it on a low-pressure setting so you can safely rinse out the metal housing, vents, and other components. If possible, go in the opposite direction from the airflow. And make sure to keep the water pressure gentle because high pressure can bend the coils and ruin your unit’s ability to cool.
Have it checked out by professionals
No matter where you live, winters in the States can bring cooler temperatures, rain or snow. This change in weather can cause many issues for the appliance, especially if not all components are in top shape. That’s why it’s a great idea to call an air conditioning service and book an AC preventive maintenance. In case there are any suspicious things in the way your AC works, professionals will know how to handle them quickly and easily. There’s no substitute for a certified and experienced technician when it comes to inspection, cleaning, and removing problems.
According to manufacturers and repair companies, it’s best to have a yearly tune-up to ensure future problems are easily avoided. This will not only ensure your home always has access to effective AC, but it can also save you money by lowering your bills and avoiding breakdowns.
Cover for protection
When your AC is clean and in perfect condition, it’s important that it stays that way all through winter. Air conditioning covers are essential for keeping your outdoor unit free of snow, rain, ice, debris and dirt. Even some animals might choose to crawl inside and seek shelter, so a cover is a must. You can find a practical cover in your local hardware store or home improvement center or wrap it in a waterproof tarp.
Fasten the cover snuggly at the bottom, but leave some space for any moisture to escape. If you’re using a regular tarp without a fastening strap, a bungee cord or a simple rope will do the trick.
Adjust your thermostat
Lastly, as the temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to start switching from cooling to heating by adjusting your thermostat. It’s best to start readjusting your thermostat over time, slowly setting it to the desired temperature, and then once it’s used to the new setting, lowering it even further. Move by degrees until you reach the acceptable temperature you can push all through the winter. If you want to upgrade your thermostat, opt for a smart model that allows you to control your indoor temperature remotely and program various settings, such as nighttime, morning temperature, and temperature for when you’re out of the house.
Your AC provides you with a lot of comforts during warm months so the least you can do is provide it back with some love in winter. With proper preparation and protection, your AC will be ready to continue its job in spring and summer.