As the end of summer approaches, you may be wondering how to prepare your AC system for the winter.
The only way to ensure that your AC is properly prepared for the winter is to have an HVAC tech maintain your system and make any small repairs or replacements before you officially turn your AC off for the season.
However, there are a few ways that you can prep your AC yourself, including:
- Cleaning your outdoor unit
- Insulating your unit for cold weather
Below, we’ll take a more detailed look at exactly what steps you can take to prepare your AC for winter, and what you’ll need a professional to do to ensure that your AC is ready for hibernation.
What you can do to prepare your AC for winter
Task #1: Clean your outdoor AC unit. Make sure your AC is shut off at the breaker. Then clear away any visible debris from the top and sides of your outdoor AC unit. You can also wipe down your unit with a slightly damp cloth.
Over the winter, more debris, like leaves and sticks, will likely make its way into your outdoor unit, but cleaning your AC system now will make your spring cleaning job easier.
Task #2: Once your outdoor unit is clean, cover the top of it with a thin plywood board or purchase a cover made by the manufacturer. To prevent the board from blowing off, you can place a few bricks or rocks on top of the plywood. This will prevent heavy clumps of snow or larger icicles from falling into your AC unit and potentially damaging the internal parts.
We do not recommend covering your outdoor unit with a cover or tarp because these kinds of covers can trap moisture, which can rust your outdoor unit. Tarps and covers also create a warmer space which can be more inviting for small critters. Normal snowfall and cold weather will not damage your outdoor unit, so just covering the top from any falling debris is the best way to prevent damage to your outdoor unit.
The AC prep you’ll need a professional for
As we mentioned above, to fully prepare your AC system for winter, you’ll need to enlist the help of a professional.
Here’s what you’ll need a pro to do:
- Inspect parts of your indoor and outdoor unit to make sure all parts are working properly and that no repairs need to be made.
- Deep clean your outdoor unit. While you can lightly clean your outdoor unit, a tech has the expertise to deep clean your outdoor unit and each of the internal components without damaging your system.
- Check refrigerant lines for leaks. If you have a leak in your refrigerant line, you’ll want to catch that now, before you let your AC sit for 6 months. A tech will check your refrigerant levels during a tune-up and let you know if there are any issues.
- Insulate any exposed pipes and/or wires. Cold weather can easily damage any exposed AC piping, so a professional should check for exposed wiring and pipes and insulate them if needed.
- Clean the indoor evaporator coil. Chances are your AC has accumulated dust/dirt throughout the long AC season, and this accumulation can hinder airflow to your furnace. During winter prep, a tech should take a look at your evaporator coil and clean it if necessary so that there is efficient airflow to your furnace throughout the winter.
Want the best techs in New Jersey servicing your AC system? Contact Air Experts
Most homeowners don’t realize that your AC needs to be properly prepped for cold weather, but it does, and you want it taken care of by the very best in the business. At Air Experts, we not only employ high-trained techs, but we know New Jersey weather better than any other HVAC company. We’ve been helping NJ homeowners with their cooling and heating systems for the last 26 years, so we know exactly what kind of weather we need to prepare your AC for this winter.