Three Things To Do Now To Get Your AC Ready For Winter

As the hot summer days give way to crisp, fall evenings, it may feel like winter is lightyears away. In reality, it's right around the corner. Take these steps now to make sure your air conditioner is ready for winter precipitation and frigid temperatures.

1. Maintain Your AC Unit

Comfortably warm fall temperatures are the ideal time to take care of air conitioner maintence. To maintain your AC unit, start by clearing away any obstructions from the outside of the unit. Twigs, leaves, and trash all frequently get stuck in the AC's exterior. Make sure to clear the surrounding area of any possible obstructions as well. By doing so, you minimize the chance of yard debris getting wedged in your unit's exterior.

If the exterior of the unit is splattered with mud or animal waste, you can use your water hose to wash it away. Make sure to unplug the unit before you do so, and allow it to dry completely before plugging it back up.

2. Decide Whether or Not to Cover Your Unit

AC pros disagree about the benefits and disadvanatges of covering an AC unit in the winter. Some argue that covering is not neccessary at all, as outdoor units are designed to withstand outside conditions. Covering also increases the likelihood that an animal will make a nest in your air conditioner; small animals in particular are known for their propensity to chew essential electrical components.

Others recommend only covering the top of the unit with a piece of strong plywood. This protects the unit from winter precipitation without hampering the flow of air. 

Most AC professionals agree that you should not cover the entire AC unit. By doing so, you create conditions that trap moisture inside the air conditioner. This extra moisture increases the chance of rust. 

3. Come Up with a Snow Removal Plan

Alright, this step doesn't require a ton of immediate action, but it's still important to protect the structural integrity of your air conditioner. When winter weather hits, you want to make sure you clear the area around your air conditioner as soon as possible. Ideally, clear a radius of two to three feet around the unit. A clear surrounding area cuts down on the amount of damage-causing moisture that enters the unit. Keeping the area clear also decreases the chance of your unit getting clogged.

Once you have your snow removal plan, invest in the appropriate equipment while it is still widely available.

Complete these simple tips to get your AC unit ready for the winter months. By doing so, you prolong the lifespan of your unit so that it lasts as long as possible. When the sunny days of next spring appear, you can rest easy knowing your air conditioner is ready for action. Contact an AC services company in your area for additional advice.