Getting Your Central Air Conditioning System Ready For Winter

Posted on: 20 November 2019

Split-unit air conditioning systems are a significant investment. These units do a great job of keeping your house cool through the summer, but they require regular maintenance and upkeep to operate efficiently and reliably. As the warmth of summer fades, it can be easy to forget about your AC system and ignore vital pre-winter maintenance steps. While many homeowners choose to leave annual maintenance until the spring, this is often a mistake. Properly preparing your AC system for the winter and performing your yearly check-up at this time is a great way to ensure that there will be no surprises waiting for you when the heat returns.

Why It Matters

Aside from the typical maintenance steps that should be carried out every year on your AC system, extra winterization steps are essential to save yourself from costly repairs. Your outdoor condenser unit is exposed to the elements all year long, making it particularly vulnerable to the ravages of winter. This unit also contains your system's compressor and condenser coils, two especially expensive components.

Steps You Can Take

While there are many tasks that a trained HVAC technician should perform, there are some steps you can take to help winterize your AC unit. Even if the cold weather has already arrived, it is never too late to do what you can protect your system. Begin by inspecting your outdoor unit. Most condenser units have removable panels, and they should be secured tightly before the winter. Check the panels and, if they are loose, tighten any screws or bolts. This simple step can help to keep snow and debris out of the unit's interior.

Additionally, it's a good idea to clean around the unit and remove fall debris, such as twigs and fallen leaves. It is not generally necessary to cover your condenser, but the more debris you remove, the less likely it is that these potential contaminants will find their way inside during the winter. Cleaning around your condenser will also make it much easier to remove snow in the winter as needed. Rinsing off the unit with a garden hose or with a dedicated AC cleaner is a good idea as well.

Scheduling an Inspection

After you've performed your own necessary maintenance steps, be sure to schedule an annual inspection. If you currently schedule your yearly inspection for another part of the year, consider moving it to the fall or early winter. Since your AC system is not in use during these times, you can take more time to deal with any uncovered problems. An annual fall or winter inspection can also provide you with an opportunity to speak with a qualified technician about your winterization steps, helping you to expand your maintenance routine if necessary to keep your system operating reliably and efficiently.

For more information about getting your air conditioning system ready for the winter, contact an HVAC company in your area today.


Summer is Upon Us – Is Your AC Working?

Hi. My name is Laurie Waters. The HVAC contractor was just out at our house last week and did I ever get a lesson from him. You see, we had a warm spell hit and I went to turn our air conditioning on for the first time since last summer. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t working. All I got was a blast of warm air. The fan was bringing the outdoor heat inside. Thank goodness it wasn’t anything major. My unit needed Freon. While he was here, the contractor taught me how to do some routine maintenance around my unit, vents, and filters. I’m going to share this information with you. I hope you find it to be useful.

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