When the nights begin to get cooler and the days grow shorter, it’s time to begin thinking about all the things that you will need to do around your home to prepare for the upcoming winter that looms ahead. This means taking time to winterize everything that might require winterizing. One of the often-overlooked areas of your home is your air conditioner.
Many people simply do not take the time to winterize an air conditioner. However, with a little tender loving care, you will ensure more years of use from your air conditioner. This means that you will need to focus on it also to conserve its life over the years.
The only tools that you will need to winterizing an air conditioner are a pair of gloves, an air compressor if you have one, and a rake. Also, some manufacturers of certain central air conditioning units actually sell covers to place over the outside condenser unit, but this is not necessary.
Your first step will be to turn the power off from the unit at the breaker panel.
This will ensure a safe working environment. One very important thing that many people who run certain heat pumps do not realize is that they can turn the breaker off to their air conditioning unit but leave the power to their heat still running and ultimately save a bit of money on their energy bills.
This is not true of all units, but a few of them on the market allow a person to do this. Others do not, and you will have to run electricity for both your air conditioning and your heating elements in order to have your heat. On these units, you cannot simply cut off just the air conditioning aspect of the unit. You will have to cut power to both heat and air conditioning.
Once the power is turned off to the unit, simply place your gloves on and begin to clear away any leaves or debris that has accumulated in and around the condenser or on the fan. Clear away even the cob webs that might have taken up residence.
Remember to look around the base that the unit sits on also because many rodents or other small animals will burrow under the base. If this is the case, then please humanely remove the pest from its home and allow it to seek residence somewhere else.
Now it’s time to take your air compressor and blow out the drain that comes out of the unit.
This drain drips water when the air conditioner is running. This will prevent any amount of water from freezing that might have accumulated. If your unit is draining properly, there should be no accumulation of water in the PVC pipe. However, in older units, they can become clogged up, and you do not even realize there is a backup in the pipe of water or moisture. This can cause the PVC pipe to burst in freezing weather.
If you own an air conditioner cover, then place it over the outside unit, but if you do not, then don’t worry about it. The unit is made to be outside and endure the harshest of weather. It truly does not require a cover of any sort.
Winterizing a Window Air Conditioner
Many people do not have a heat pump, central air conditioning unit, etc. These people simply have window unit air conditioners.
The best way to winterize a window air conditioner is to remove them completely from your window and place them safely in a garage or storage shed. Make sure they are up off the cold concrete floor where rodents might seek refuge in them and build a nest.
Make sure they are safely placed on a shelf or in the rafters of a garage or storage shed. Now you will be able to simply close your window once the unit is removed. This will save on your heat bill because removal of the unit will seal up any leaks that window units are notorious for.
Unfortunately, some people cannot remove their window unit air conditioners because they have not been placed in a window. Many people actually cut a hole into their walls and built a deck to set the unit on.
So the best thing to do in this case is to cover the outside part of the window unit. Make sure it is unplugged from the power and use a premade cover or simply device one using plastic or a tarp that you can tape around the outside. This will help preserve your unit and get a longer life out of it. It will also help seal off any drafts that the unit may allow into your home.
Winterizing your home is extremely important. The air conditioner is just one small aspect of your home care needs. With a few steps to winterize an air conditioner, you can easily help expand the life span of the unit and save yourself expenses in the future.