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Ace Hardware Home Services Blog

“What Can I Do to Protect My Air Conditioner This Winter?”

air-conditioner-covered-in-iceWith the official start of fall behind us, temperatures are beginning to cool down now. Chances are, you’re using your air conditioning system less and less.

Hopefully that also means you’ve taken the opportunity to schedule your heater maintenance, ensuring that your furnace, heat pump, or boiler is prepared to operate safely and effectively this coming winter. But before we get there, we don’t want you to just completely forget about your air conditioner. While it may not need maintenance again until next spring—assuming you had maintenance done last spring, that is—your cooling system does need some attention before winter hits.

“Winterizing” your air conditioner protects the system. It’s not complicated to do either! Proper care will protect this system from possible damage, it will extend its lifespan, and it will ensure it has no trouble operating when you need it next. Read on to learn more!

Manage Lingering Repairs

The last thing you need is for your cooling system to go into its winter hibernation with a malfunction that has not been repaired. If you notice anything has gone wrong with your AC system’s performance this past summer or if you suspect something is amiss, the best thing you can do is call our professionals before you do anything else.

How to Shut Your AC Down for Winter

First, you’ll want to shut your AC off completely. We don’t just mean that you should ensure it’s in heating mode. The thing is, even a brief heatwave or thermostat problem can signal the AC to turn on when it shouldn’t, and if you haven’t properly shut off your AC, it can cycle on and take in wetness and debris from the stormy weather we experience in the winter.

In order to prevent this from happening, you’ll need to locate the power switch outside. It’s by the outdoor cabinet under a plastic cover. Flip the cover up, turn the switch to “off,” and you’re done!

Okay, well, you’re not done but you’re ready for the next step, which is to clean off the outdoor cabinet. This really isn’t an extensive job. All you’ll need is a low-pressured hose to rinse the system off and maybe a broom to brush away dirt, debris, and even lawn clippings. Also, you should ensure that the surrounding area is free from leaves and branches that can prevent the outdoor unit from becoming clogged or damaged, restricting airflow.

Lastly, you’ll want to cover the outdoor unit with a waterproof cover. You’ll be able to purchase one of these from a hardware store that’s designed specifically for this purpose. But there’s also nothing wrong with using a tarp to do the job, as long as it is waterproof and you secure it down with rope or bungee cords so it doesn’t fly away in inclement weather.

Following the steps, we just outlined is the best way to protect your air conditioner this winter from debris and inclement weather that could do it harm. This combined with routine maintenance will ensure your AC system lasts a long time!

Contact Ace Hardware Home Services for quality Lincolnton, NC HVAC service!

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