As the seasons change, it’s time to prepare your home and contents for cooler weather ahead, including your air conditioner. Winterization helps prepare your AC for next cooling season, while helping protect against winter elements and moisture damage. Consider the following steps as part of your overall winter preparedness strategy.
Why Should You Winterize Your Air Conditioner?
Although winter in Chattanooga is generally short lived, harsh conditions including freezing rain, sleet, snow, and below-freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your AC. By investing your time now, you can prevent any number of minor and major repairs next spring, while prolonging the lifespan of your equipment. Issues may include:
- Damage from falling ice or debris
How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Winter
Get a head start on next cooling season with these steps:
Clean the condenser unit. Turn off the power to the condenser unit before beginning:
- Vacuum debris from the exterior fins using a soft brush attachment, and gently straighten any bent fins using gentle pressure from a butter knife.
- Unscrew the top grill and set it aside before carefully lifting out the fan without bending or disconnecting the wires.
- Remove any debris from the interior of the unit and gently wipe surfaces with a damp cloth.
- Spray fins from the inside out with a garden hose using moderate pressure.
- Reinsert the fan, reattach the cover, and restore power when complete.
Listen to the compressor. Stand nearby as the AC is running to listen for any unusual noises such as buzzing, clunking, or grinding, which are signs you may need repair.
Change your air filter. A clean air filter helps to protect system components and improve the quality of your indoor air.
Clear the area. Clear long grass and debris from the perimeter of the outdoor unit, and trim trees, bushes, or foliage, leaving a three foot clearance on all sides and above.
Cover up. After its final use, place a specially designed AC cover over the unit, ensuring the fit isn’t too tight, to allow for ventilation which can prevent rust build up and nesting by small animals. Alternately, rest a sheet of plywood cut to fit the top of the unit plus an additional two feet of overhang on all sides, and secure with a heavy brick or rock to keep it in place.
Perform periodic inspections. Inspect the area around the outdoor unit periodically throughout the winter to ensure the cover remains in place, and remove any buildup of snow, ice, or debris.
Call for help. If you’re uncomfortable or unable to perform any of these functions, call the professionals at Action Air.
HVAC Maintenance in Chattanooga
Mid-fall is also the time to schedule heating maintenance before turning it on in the cooler weather. Make sure your furnace or heat pump is in good shape before the temperatures drop!