Winter is around the corner, which means it’s once again time to crank up those ACs to keep the cold at bay. AC units are a staple across the country and help us get through searing hot summers and freezing cold winters.
Your AC unit requires year-round maintenance for peak performance throughout the year. Unfortunately, most homeowners push AC maintenance to the back burner until temperatures start hitting extremes. As winter beckons, air conditioning in Austin has been a hot topic across households in the city.
With temperatures of up to -2 degrees, Austin is no place to overlook AC prepping and maintenance. Today, we’ll be looking at a couple of tips to help you prep your air conditioner for the winter season.
What Is AC Winterization?
Winterizing your AC or AC winterization means taking the necessary steps to prep your AC for the coming winter. Doing so helps protect your AC from ice, rust, and extreme temperatures, ensuring it works seamlessly throughout winter.
You can winterize your AC by yourself with basic household tools. However, smart homeowners leave it to the pros for the best results. Regardless of your choice, winterizing your AC is imperative to your AC’s proper functioning through winter and subsequent seasons.
Here are a couple of tips to help you prepare your AC for winter.
Clean the Condenser Unit
The first thing you should do to prepare your AC for winter is to clean the condenser unit. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do so, but first, ensure you have the following tools at hand:-
- Power drill
- Bristle brush
- Water hose with a spray nozzle
To clean your condenser unit, you need to:
-Cut the power to your AC unit to turn it off. You can do this by pulling the plug connector found in the power box.
-Use a screwdriver or drill to remove the screws on the panel.
-Remove the panels one-by-one carefully, so you don’t damage the condenser fins.
-Use the bristle brush to clean the fins. Remember to be gentle since the fins are somewhat delicate. Brush up and down and not side by side for the greatest effect.
-Use your water hose to spray the fins clean.
-Place the panels back in reverse order. Installing the corner panels first before proceeding with the flat ones makes it a lot easier.
Make sure you remove all the dust and gunk that has accumulated on your condenser over the years. Once your condenser is spick-and-span, you can proceed to the next step.
Clean the Rest of Your AC Unit
Find a broom and sweep off any twigs, branches, and leaves surrounding the AC. Use the water hose to rid the area surrounding your AC of dust, debris, and bird dropping. Don’t put the hose or broom down until the entire area is clean and free from any dust or debris.
Cover Your AC Unit
If everything is squeaky clean, the next step is to cover your AC unit. Place a waterproof vinyl or plastic cover to protect it from the elements. This protective covering also shields your AC from debris and prevents it from cracking.
You can look for covers made specifically for AC units in local hardware stores. However, a plastic or vinyl sheet will do just fine if you can’t find AC covers. Use ropes or bungee cords to secure the cover and keep the wind from blowing it off.
Arrange for an AC Inspection
Schedule a comprehensive AC inspection from a reputable HVAC service. The inspection will look for cracks, leaks, and other issues with your AC system. These issues may seem harmless, but they could lead to adverse problems down the line.
The HVAC inspector will give recommendations on how best to address issues with your AC. This inspection culminates in a conclusive report on the conditions of your AC and suggestions on how you can improve its efficiency and extend its longevity.
Insulate Your AC
Insulation prevents your pipes and wires from freezing during the cold winter season. Wrap your exposed pipes and wires with foam insulation.
Remember, fluids inside the pipes might freeze, leading to blockages and cracks on the pipe. This might lead to costly repairs and waste your hard-earned cash. Insulate your pipes, so you don’t waste money unnecessarily.
If you already have insulation, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little extra just for winter. You can buy insulation from a nearby hardware store. Make-shift insulation like old towels and rugs may not deliver the best results.
Change Your Air Filter
Consider changing your AC filter once every three months if you don’t have any allergies or pets. If you have allergies, pets, or both, you should change your filter much more frequently. Changing your filter improves your AC’s efficiency and keeps dust and debris away to improve your indoor air quality.
Because winter is fast approaching, consider changing your AC filter even if you changed it two weeks ago. Remember, winter is a time of intensive AC use; new filters will ensure your air remains clean all through winter.
Listen to Your Compressor
Stand close to the compressor and listen for any funny noises. Any grinding, clunking, or rattling indicates that there could be an issue with your compressor. Maybe the fans are bent, or something is stuck between the fans.
Regardless of what it is, listen keenly to the compressor and check for any weird noises. If there are strange noises, call a professional to check it out.
Proper Air Conditioning in Austin for a Smooth Winter
The above tips should help you adequately prepare your AC for the cold winter. Air conditioning in Austin is a Breeze with proper HVAC maintenance. Get it? Air conditioning is a “breeze.”
Contact us today for professional and expedient HVAC services.