The 5 Cs: Prepare Your Air Conditioner For Winter With These Handy Guide

July 11, 2017

We may have just bid goodbye to summer, but cooler temperature will be setting in before you know it. That makes early fall one of the best times to ready your air conditioner for the colder seasons. Failure to perform regular cooling system maintenance now might mean you’ll need extensive air conditioner repairs or even replacement much earlier than expected. Before you crank up the heat this winter, you should go through this five-step guide, otherwise known as “The Five Cs.”

  1. Cut the exterior powerCentral air conditioning systems will typically have exterior circuits for the actual unit outside. You’ll need to turn off the power to your unit before doing anything else. Usually, these circuits will be in a power box attached to your home. You’ll need to pull the circuit handle out, turn it upside down, and put it back into its slot before closing the lid. It’s a fairly easy step that will prevent unit damage and unintentional power-ups during the winter while keeping you safe in the immediate future. If you’re nervous about turning off your unit yourself, you can always call your HVAC service company to handle it.
  2. Clean the unitYou should clean off the exterior of the unit, checking for twigs, leaves, and other debris that could end up on or in it. If you don’t clean this out now, the snow and ice could potentially trap this matter and cause problems down the road. You should also address any far-reaching branches that might break off or cause any potential harm to the unit. As a rule, make sure that the unit has a clear two-foot radius. Finally, check and clean the vent areas to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
  3. Check for damageHeating and cooling companies know that HVAC needs already account for 48% of all energy use in the average U.S. home. But if your unit is damaged in any way, you could be paying even more than necessary. Cracks, broken seals, or other damages should be taken care of before winter sets in. Otherwise, all of the elements will likely make these problems worse.
  4. Call for air conditioner repairTo that end, schedule your air conditioner repairs right away! Take note of any issues you find and make sure to call an expert to take care of them sooner rather than later (especially if you can’t remember the last time you had your unit serviced!). That way, you won’t have to worry about these issues all winter long and will be secure in the knowledge that once the weather warms up again, you’ll be ready to go.
  5. Cover your unitThere are different schools of thought pertaining to whether or not you should cover your air conditioner. But most people do agree that it’s usually a good idea. This is particularly true if you live in an area that’s prone to ice, snow, and wind. If you do choose to cover it, be sure that your cover is made of a breathable material (i.e., NOT plastic) to ensure no moisture gets trapped. Otherwise, you might end up with mold or animal activity. Ask your air conditioner repair technician what they might recommend for coverage.

If you set your AC unit up for success now, you’ll be able to breathe easy come spring. Have questions regarding best practices or wondering if you should schedule a maintenance appointment? We’d be happy to assist you in any way we can.


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