5 Tips for Winterizing Your Air Conditioner

After working overtime for you during all those hot summer months, it’s time to repay the kindness and take care of your air conditioner before the winter! There are a few things you can do to help keep it in tip top share for when you’ll need it again.

Read these tips for best practices, so your A/C will be in pristine condition come next spring.

Power Down

If you have central air, ensure that the air conditioning’s circuit is switched to off, so that your A/C system doesn’t accidentally turn on during warmer winter days. If the system boots up, it will create water in its system which can freeze back up.

Be sure to turn the breaker for your A/C on the electrical panel to “off” too, as another measure to prevent it from inadvertently turning on during the winter.

Clean and Clear Debris

Again, for those with central air, there’s a fan outside which is slowly being covered with debris and grime — winterizing your air conditioner is best done in the time right before the temperature really dips.

Spray the fan with a hose to wash away any leaves, bird droppings, or small branches. This prevents junk from building up in the system, which can cause machine wear and tear. 

Foam Pipe Protectors

Your A/C system will thank you if you protect any exposed pipes with thermal foam insulation, which is easily available at your local hardware store. Cut and fit the insulation to the pipes snugly and wrap it all with duct tape, so the remaining moisture in the pipes doesn’t freeze up and cause problems.

Air conditioners are built to withstand winter temperatures, but it always helps to give them as much protection as possible, especially if you live somewhere with extremely harsh winters.  

Protective Cover for the Fan

There are plastic or vinyl waterproof covers you can buy to protect your fan from the elements during winter. Get one! Secure it to the machine with bungee cords or rope, and make sure it’s fastened tightly so it stays in place during any winter storm. 

Clean the Filters

Perhaps you have a wall-mounted A/C unit, or one that fits in the window. As part of regular maintenance, it’s a good idea to clean the filter. First, make sure you have filters which are meant to be cleaned rather than replaced.

Turn the power off, and remove the front panel of your A/C. Pop the filter out, and give it a gentle vacuum. It may not look like it is being cleaned, but it is. However, if there is still particulate on the filter, leave it in a mixture of water and vinegar for the deepest clean possible. 

Put the filter back in and put the panel back on, then turn on the A/C — it’ll be working even better, ready for when outside gets hot again. 

Just follow these five tips, and when the sun returns you’ll be effortlessly comfortable in your own home.