As the summer season comes to an end, it’s time to winterize your yard. This includes turning off your AC unit and protecting it for the winter. If you’re a new homeowner who has never done this before, don’t fret. Here’s a collection of steps to help you get the job done.
Step 1: Turn off the AC unit
The first thing you need to do is get your AC ready for the winter by turning it off. You can do this by choosing one of two ways— at the circuit breaker inside your house or at the disconnect next to the unit. Simply switch the circuit breaker that controls the AC unit to the off position, or find the electrical box near your unit and turn the breaker upside down.
Step 2: Wash dirt and debris off the AC unit
After your AC unit is turned off, get a broom and sweep any leaves or dirt away from the unit. Then, use a wet cloth to gently clean the AC unit inside out. Cleaning your AC unit helps prevent rust and buildup that can cause damage over time. Be careful not to damage any of the fins while you’re cleaning.
Step 3: Get the AC unit serviced
It’s a good idea to have an HVAC professional look at your AC unit at the end of the summer. This way, your AC will be ready to go next year without any problems. If you wait until it’s hot outside to give your AC unit a tune-up, you might have to wait longer for a technician or bear the heat longer than you’d like. Plus, HVAC professionals charge less money for an AC unit tune-up at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning.
Step 4: Install foam covers on exposed pipes
If you live in a climate that gets extremely cold temperatures, you should install foam covers on any exposed pipes that connect to your AC unit. You don’t want any moisture to get on them and freeze. Freezing pipes can burst and require costly repairs. You should also look for air leaks and seal them around your home.
Step 5: Cover the AC unit with a vinyl or plastic cover
The last thing you should do to winterize your AC unit is cover it with a vinyl or plastic cover. You can buy one at your local hardware store. Make sure that you securely cover the entire unit and make the straps tight so that rodents can’t get inside your AC unit and make nests. You don’t technically have to cover your AC unit for the winter. After all, it is designed to be outdoors. However, covering your AC unit will help extend its life. Keeping the moisture off the unit prevents rust and deterioration.
Your AC unit is ready to welcome winters once you’ve performed all the steps. Now, it’s time to make sure your furnace is ready to keep you warm when it starts snowing.