If winter is approaching and the last few days during which you might need your air conditioner seem to be in the past, it’s worth it to consider winterizing your air conditioner to preserve it through the cold season. A South Carolinian winter may not be the fiercest in the nation, but it’s still more than capable of dealing real damage to exposed machinery if you’re not careful.
We’ll discuss the risks of leaving your AC unprepared for the winter and the steps you should take if you want to be safe.
Why Winterize Your Air Conditioner?
Intense temperatures, piled-up snow, and other winter events can have a serious effect on your air conditioner’s exterior unit, sitting outdoors, exposed to the elements as it is. This can be especially concerning if your unit wasn’t installed with any sort of protection from the winter in mind, uninsulated and wholly exposed to the whims of nature.
Without proper prep, an unexpectedly intense winter might result in rusting, damage from falling ice or piled up snow, or even strange events like animals taking advantage of the convenient motionless box attached to your home to set up a nest.
Steps to Prepare Your AC for the Winter
Turn off the power
Start this process by powering your air conditioner off. You don’t want anything cutting on and moving while you’re interacting with the system, and it can make it hard to spot problems if the fan is moving. Flip the breaker to be sure it’s off.
Clean the unit
You want your air conditioner as clean as you can get it — this way, you can spot any problems and don’t have any surprises awaiting you.
Inspect for problems
Check the condenser and anything else exposed to the elements for issues. Existing rust, cracks, and physical damage can get a lot worse in the winter, so if you notice any of these issues, schedule repairs to have them fixed — it’ll be more costly later if things get worse.
Clear nearby debris
Make sure you don’t have anything near your air conditioner that could fall into it or onto it and clear the space around it for safety. Go ahead and trim anything nearby so that you don’t have to worry about hedges growing into your unit while it’s out of use.
Cover your AC
If you’re definitely not going to be running your air conditioner anymore, go ahead and cover it up for the cold season. A properly designed AC cover is your best option, as it will allow proper ventilation while protecting your unit against most of the threats we already mentioned. Barring that, you can use a sheet of plywood or similar materials with something draping and insulating to keep it protected and warm throughout the season.
Check throughout the winter
When the winter rolls in, keep an eye on your air conditioner. Look for things falling onto it or into it, garden pests trying to make it a new home, plants trying to grow into it, huge piles of snow sitting on it too long and causing rust, etc.
Keep Your AC Unit Maintained All Year Long
You probably don’t have much to worry about from the South Carolina winter — but if you don’t take the proper steps to prep for the winter and end up with a damaged air conditioner, you’ll regret not investing a little time into caution.
If you’d like to learn more about winter prep for your AC, reach out to the experts at Preferred Home Services today by dialing 843-405-3601. We’ll be glad to help!