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Preparing Your Outdoor Air Conditioner for Winter

Taking care of your home’s heating system to prepare it for winter is an essential step to take during the fall. However, your air conditioner requires some attention at this time as well. If you have a standard split-system AC (i.e. it has both indoor and outdoor components), it’s important to follow a few steps to “winterize” the air conditioner over the long months of cold when it won’t be running. This will help ensure its best operation when it starts up next year. These steps will protect the unit from snow as well as from rust.

  • Turn off the air conditioner’s circuit near the unit. This is a switch covered with a plastic or metal life. Turn this switch to “off.” This will stop the AC from turning on at some point when there’s an unusual rise in warmth during a winter day—an event that will draw water inside the unit, where it will then freeze.
  • Give the outside of the unit a washing with a hose to get rid of things like dirt and dead bugs. Take away all leaves and small branches from it, and then allow the AC cabinet to dry fully.
  • Place foam pipe covers—much like the ones used to insulate plumbing pipes—around any exposed pipes to protect them from freezing.
  • Purchase a vinyl or plastic HVAC unit cover. Make sure that it’s waterproof! Place the cover over the outdoor unit. To make sure it’s secure, wrap bungee cords around it. You don’t want the cover to blow away in a high winter wind.
  • Do a weekly check throughout the season to see that the cover is still on. Keep snow and brush and any other debris clear from it.

There, you now have an air conditioner that will stay safe, dry, and warm during the winter. In spring, arrange for regular air conditioning maintenance with our team, and your system will be all set to get to work once more.

Red Rock Mechanical LLC: Serving Burlington and throughout Northwest Vermont for over 23 years.

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