How to Prepare Your Outdoor Air Conditioner for Winter

Outdoor Heater

As the colder weather rolls in, our air conditioners get some well-deserved rest after keeping our homes cool all summer. Because your condenser is outside, it should be prepared for winter to protect your home and your equipment from damage. Below, we’re going to review the steps you need to take to prep your outdoor air conditioner properly for the winter.

What Can Happen if You Do Not Prepare Your AC Unit for Winter?

Your AC equipment will be exposed to the elements all winter long, and neglecting to prep it correctly can cause damage to your system. The pipes and supply lines that keep your air conditioner functioning can freeze, leading to costly repairs of the condenser and potentially your home if it leaks inside. Debris can also get into your system and cause it to malfunction when you turn it back on in the spring.

How to Prepare

Below are the steps you should take to get your air conditioner ready for the winter.

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Before you do any kind of maintenance to your system, be sure to use its dedicated power supply box to cut power to it entirely. This box is typically located near the condenser on the outside of your home. The power should be left off all winter to prevent your AC from turning on during unusually warm days, which can cause problems with condensation and water damage.

Step 2: Clean

Once the power is off to your system, you’ll want to clean off your condenser. Leaves, dirt, sticks, garbage, pine cones, and any other debris on or around your equipment should be removed. Take this opportunity to trim back any bushes or shrubs that may be growing too close to your condenser as well.

Step 3: Inspect

Next, do a thorough visual inspection of your outdoor unit. You should look for dents, cracks, rust, leaks, frayed wires, loose fittings, hose damage, and anything else that doesn’t look normal. Any damage found should be checked and repaired, if applicable, by a professional

Step 4: Cover

Covering your condenser with a dedicated AC cover or waterproof tarp will help prevent moisture build-up and potential damage from freezing water in your system. Secure the cover to ensure it doesn’t blow off.

Step 5: Insulate

Any hoses or pipes that are visible should be insulated with foam coverings to protect them from the cold. The liquids inside can freeze and cause bursts, which can be expensive to repair in the spring.

Step 6: Perform Weekly Checks

Throughout the winter, check your system visually for the build-up of debris, leaks, and irregularities with equipment. You should also make sure that the cover and foam insulation remains in place.

Of course, once the AC is protected and put to rest for the winter, it’s time to start thinking about heat! Whether you’re looking for a new heating system or service on your existing heating system, contact our highly trained professionals for help with all of your heating needs this winter.