When the weather outside is frightful, the last thing on your mind is usually your air conditioner. After all, why worry about your air conditioning when the frigid temperatures outside have you running for the safety of that cozy spot in front of the fireplace? It may seem counterintuitive, but winter is actually a great time to deal with servicing your air conditioning system.
Check out these tips to help you prepare your air conditioning system for the winter and to make sure that it's in peak operating condition once the long, cold nights give way to blistering, sunny days.
Prepare Your AC Unit
If you have an AC unit that is located outdoors, then there are several steps you should take each winter to protect and maintain it through the cold months. Surprisingly, it is not necessary to cover your exterior air conditioning unit through the winter. These units are designed to stand up to moisture, so there's really no concern about snow making its way into the unit. Your exterior air conditioning unit has no trouble standing up to rain, so there's really no reason to be concerned about snow.
Covers aren't completely useless, of course. One of the main concerns through the winter months is that meltwater from snow may make its way inside the unit and then later freeze, which can potentially be a problem. This should not be a huge concern unless you will be receiving an excessive amount of snow, so covering your air conditioner only before major storms can be a good idea. Removing the cover once the storm has passed will avoid creating an environment that may foster mold growth.
You should also give the exterior unit a good cleaning before winter hits in force. The fall months can lead to leaves and other debris clogging up parts of your exterior AC unit, and once winter comes, that same debris may become trapped under layers of snow and eventually make it inside. This isn't generally any cause for alarm, but it can create problems if is allowed to happen year after year. Making a thorough cleaning a part of your regular pre-winter maintenance routine is a great way to prevent problems in the future.
Schedule Your Yearly Service
Are you scheduling a routine annual air conditioning services? If not, you should be! And winter is an amazing time to do it. During the winter months, most people are not focused on their air conditioning, and this means that technicians are usually more flexible and able to schedule appointments that work for you. Since air conditioning is a seasonal business, you may even be able to score some discounts on your service.
There are more practical advantages to taking care of this yearly chore during the winter months as well. Since the point of a yearly service is not only to maintain your air conditioning unit but also to check for issues, a winter inspection affords you considerably more time to deal with problems. Nobody likes having to deal with a hot summer or spring without AC, but if any problems turn up during the winter, you're free to deal with them when it is most convenient for you.