Many homeowners start thinking about how to get their heating systems ready for the winter as soon as fall arrives. But don’t forget about your air conditioning (AC) system while you’re getting ready for winter. If you want your air conditioner to work like new when the weather warms up again, winterizing it correctly is a must. Here we will go over the fundamentals of winterizing your house’s AC system.
Clean the Outdoor Unit
Make sure to clean the external condenser unit of your air conditioner before winter arrives. Debris like grass clippings, twigs and leaves can pile up around the unit over the summer and autumn, preventing it from getting enough ventilation. To delicately clear the condenser’s fins of any dirt, use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner equipped with a brush attachment. Get the space around it free of obstructions so air can circulate freely.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Freezing temperatures pose a threat to any exposed refrigerant lines or tubing that connect the outside condenser to the inside unit. Applying foam pipe insulation to these pipes will keep them protected from harm. Keeping warm with this easy and inexpensive fix lessens the likelihood of freezing. You can be certain that your air conditioner will still work properly in cooler weather thanks to insulation.
Close or Cover Air Vents
Consider covering or sealing air vents in houses where the heating system does not use the same ductwork as the air conditioner. This is particularly important for houses with several stories or heating zones. To divert warm air from unoccupied rooms to those that need heating, simply close the vents or install magnetic covers. However, to avoid system imbalances, it is essential that your heating system not utilize the same vents.
Leave the AC Uncovered
It may make sense to cover your air conditioner for the winter, but in most cases, it’s better to keep it exposed. If you cover the unit, rats will have a place to hide from the cold, and they may do damage while they nest within. Covering the unit also increases the risk of rust and corrosion since it traps moisture. To protect the unit from snow and ice without completely covering it, you can put a piece of plywood on top if you live in a region that gets a lot of snow.
Change the Air Filter
It is essential to change the air filter in your HVAC system before winter, but it is a year-round maintenance duty. Keeping the air filter clean helps the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system do its job better in the winter by allowing for more efficient airflow. To find out what kind of filter to use and how frequently to change it, see the manufacturer’s manual.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
Consider having your HVAC system serviced by a professional before winter arrives. An expert can check and adjust all parts of your system, including the air conditioner. Expert maintenance includes things like making sure all electrical connections are secure, greasing any moving components and cleaning and dusting the system thoroughly. To make sure your air conditioner is ready for the next cooling season, it’s best to catch problems early on before they escalate.
Seal Air Leaks
Find and fix any air leaks in your house before winter by doing a thorough inspection. You can increase the effectiveness of your heating system by sealing any cracks or crevices around openings where warm air can leave and cold air can enter. To close these cracks, you can use weatherstripping, caulk or something similar. Saving energy and keeping warm inside during the winter are two side effects of well-insulated and air-tight homes.
Winterizing your home’s air conditioning system is a crucial step in maintaining its functionality and ensuring optimal performance when you need it. By cleaning the outdoor unit, insulating exposed pipes, managing air vents, leaving the AC uncovered, changing the air filter, scheduling professional maintenance and sealing air leaks, you can protect your AC system from winter-related challenges. Taking these steps will contribute to the longevity of your AC unit and enhance the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. Climate Control is here to help with all of your AC maintenance needs. We can even help winterize your cooling system for you. A lot of homeowners in Portland use our heating and cooling services to keep their homes comfortable all year long. We even offer maintenance plans. Give us a call today to learn more about properly winterizing your home’s AC.