With autumn finally here, you no longer need to keep your air conditioning running. As you make the transition to heating your home, don’t forget to properly protect your AC unit from the coming cold temperatures and snow. Take the time now before the weather worsens to check and care for your air conditioner so you won’t be faced with any surprise issues come next spring. Along with professional maintenance, you can also clean your unit and protect it against freezing conditions. Make time today to complete these easy maintenance tasks that will protect your air conditioner.

Remove Debris

Before you remove the unit’s cover, clear away any vegetation, leaves or sticks that have settled around the outside. External objects can obstruct airflow into the unit and cause damage to the fins. Vines are particularly dangerous as they may wind their way into the system and get tangled up in the wires and electrical components.

After you take off the cover, sweep away any dirt, rocks or mulch at the bottom. Make sure no animals have made their way inside. It’s also a good idea to trim back any obstructive flowers, trees or hedges. Constant snow and rain can weigh nearby plants down onto your system, letting large amounts of water seep inside. Checking for debris and pests before the start of the cold season enables you to proactively protect the efficiency and safety of your unit.

Clean Your AC Unit

Just like you did at the beginning of the warm season, take the time now to thoroughly clean your AC unit. Start by unplugging it or shutting off power from the circuit breaker. You should then remove the cover and use a hose to spray down the sides. Avoid using a power washer or a strong setting on your sprayer. Excessive force can cause serious internal damage that you might not notice until next year.

Be sure to wrap the motor in plastic before using your hose. Wipe down any grime or dust that’s accumulated inside. You can even grab a vacuum to suck out the finer particulates deep within the system.

Check for Problems

While you’re cleaning, look around for any visible sources of stress or strain. Bent fins, loose wires or leaking refrigerant can all indicate the unit is having internal issues. Check for rust, existing cracks and other physical damage that could worsen during the winter. Finding these problems early gives you the chance to minimize the spread of damage throughout the system.

You don’t want to risk opening up your AC unit after winter just to find it won’t turn on. Taking proper care of your air conditioner before the start of the cold system preserves your budget and future indoor comfort. Assessing your AC unit also allows you to inform your technician of your concerns so they can better direct their efforts.

Schedule Maintenance

After you’ve done all you can to care for your AC unit, schedule professional maintenance. Keeping your home cool for an entire season has likely caused some regular wear and tear. You could be running low on refrigerant or have a few loose bolts or belts. An experienced technician will check every inch of your air conditioner for potential issues or damages. They’ll ensure every part is working as intended while giving you tips on how to better take care of the system.

Routine maintenance during the year is the best way to extend your AC unit’s lifespan. Professional service also helps to minimize surprise issues when you next use the system.

Cover the Unit

Once you’re completely done using your unit for the season, it’s time to cover it up. The safest option is a properly designed air conditioner cover that provides ideal levels of ventilation. These covers are waterproof and breathable and are often made from plastic or vinyl. You can find many excellent options either online or at a nearby home improvement store. Don’t forget to insulate the external pipes and wiring too so they’re less exposed to damaging freezing conditions.

The less formal option is covering it with plywood or similar sturdy materials to protect it from the elements. Some families even build little structures over the AC unit to both protect it and add to the landscaping. Choose the best cover based on your budget and aesthetic preferences. Feel free to ask your local HVAC company for high-quality AC unit cover recommendations.

Monitor Regularly During Winter

Even with a cover on, you should still check on your AC unit at least once a month during the winter. Remove any twigs or leaves from the top and dust off heavy snowfall when necessary. Make sure water isn’t accumulating near or inside the unit. Pest problems tend to become more pressing during the winter when local animals are searching for warm homes.

If you spot droppings or disturbed snow near your unit, immediately check to see if they’ve made it inside. Mice, squirrels and other small rodents can chew up the wiring and scratch the fragile fins while making nests. Pull away any new plant growth and keep the area clear. Protecting your home’s HVAC system is an important responsibility that requires constant energy and dedication on your part.

Importance of AC Care

Winterizing your AC unit ensures it will survive the harsh winter conditions. Water that gets inside your system can freeze and cause extensive damage. Animals, heavy snow and frosty temperatures can all cause issues that you might not notice until it’s too late. Preventative maintenance keeps your air conditioner functioning as intended, minimizing costly repairs and part replacements. Neglecting regular service can decrease your system’s lifespan and increase your costs when you use it again.

You should also keep your HVAC system’s warranty in mind when caring for your AC unit. Not following a regular maintenance plan or caring for your system can nullify your warranty, making all future repair or emergency costs your responsibility. Protect your temperature control and comfort by properly maintaining and winterizing your AC unit this season.

Quality HVAC Service in Washington

Level 9 Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing always strives to boost your comfort in Washington, MO and the nearby areas. Rely on our trustworthy character and quality HVAC services today. Our luxury customer service caters to your specific comfort needs. We can even provide specialized industry knowledge and information to help you choose the perfect system for your home. Our certified technicians have years of experience diagnosing HVAC issues and providing reliable solutions.

We’re ready to help you with all your heating and cooling concerns. Let us repair, maintain and replace your furnace or air conditioner. We also offer a full range of indoor air quality solutions like air filtration systems, UV light, air testing and dehumidifier installation. You don’t have to worry about any residential or commercial HVAC problems when you count on Level 9 Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We’re even prepared to handle sudden issues with our reliable 24/7 emergency repair services. Call us today to schedule your HVAC service appointment in Washington.

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