As winter approaches, homeowners tend not to think about central air-conditioning systems. However, just as you would winterize a camper, motor home or vehicle, winterizing your A/C is important for the overall protection of the unit and will ensure a long life and continued reliable service.
Steps To Winterize Your Unit
- First and foremost, cut off the power supply to your air conditioner. Usually, the breaker or circuit panel is located outside. It is in a weatherproof box with a lid. Lift the lid, grasp the circuit (usually a red rectangular piece with a small handle) and pull it straight out. Turn the circuit upside down and place it back into the slot. This prevents power from going to the unit, and removes the possibility of it accidentally coming on or any shock to persons from the unit.
- Use a whisk or other type of broom to clean the outside of the unit. Grass clippings, leaves, and other debris clinging to the outside should be removed. Brush the unit so that all debris falls to the outside and doesn’t get pushed inside.
- In case any damage has occurred during the summer, check the outside casing. If cracks or other damage are noticed, call a technician to make the repairs. Do not attempt to repair damages yourself.
- Cover the unit. A cover will keep winter weather and debris out of the system, yet allow it to breathe. A/C covers are available at a small cost. Write down the brand and model of your unit; most HVAC companies can provide one that fits your model.
- Check on your air conditioner periodically. If ice or snow covers it, remove it as soon as possible. The weight of frozen precipitation can possibly bend or strain the metal or plastic housing and cause future damage.
These simple steps can help your unit to last longer and reduce the chance of damage. When you have questions about your central air conditioner or any other home-comfort equipment, contact T.F. O’Brien Heating and Cooling. We’re always ready and happy to answer your questions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air conditioner service and/or air conditioner maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.