Tips For Winterizing Your Central AC Unit

Cold nights, cool mornings, and decreasing daytime temperatures can only mean one thing – winter is coming. With winter comes the need to turn off your central AC unit for the season as you make the switch over to heat. While much of the focus is on preparing the furnace at this time of year, there are also a few maintenance steps you should take with your AC to ensure it works properly once summer rolls around again. The following guide will help you with these tasks.

#1: Change the filters

While you could technically wait until spring to do this, there are many reasons why it should be done now. First and foremost, a dirty filter provides a growing zone for mold and fungal spores, as well as bacteria. These can then infiltrate the unit or even get into the duct work. Second, you may not remember to change that filter when the first hot day causes you to flip over to the AC. This means all that mold and nasty stuff will get blown into your entire home.

#2: Clean the exterior unit

With autumn comes fallen leaves and other plant debris. Often, this debris ends up blown against your home where it collects around the exterior condenser unit. Make sure to rake away all leaves and to cut back dead plants so there is a clear area around the unit. Not only will this prevent the debris from getting into the unit, but it also discourages animals and pests from nesting in or near the AC. If you want to be exceptionally thorough, you can also remove the cover the AC and vacuum out the inside. Just keep in mind you will also need to do this again in spring to clear out winter debris.

#3: Cover the unit

There is some question as to whether the exterior unit should be covered. While it isn't good for snow and ice to collect on top of the unit, you also don't want trapped moisture inside where it can lead to rust or corrosion. The best option is to cover only the top of the unit. This will keep the bulk of the moisture out while still allowing air circulation to dry out the interior of the unit. You can use a piece of plywood cut to size or you can purchase a fitted top cover.

For more help, contact a heating and air contractor in your area, such as those at Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing.