As summer ends and Fall gets underway, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be worried more about heating your home than cooling it. You might not be ready to shut down you’re A/C just yet, but when you do, it pays to take good care of it so it will be ready when you need it again next spring. Follow this maintenance checklist to protect your air conditioner over the winter:
- Cover or remove window A/C units to avoid exposing them to harsh winter weather. Clean your unit and store it in a dry location for the winter. After you remove your air conditioner, you can install weather stripping to reduce air leaks in your window frame.
- Check the coils and fins, and wipe away any dust and dirt that has accumulated on them.
- Remove dirt, leaves and other debris from around your outdoor air conditioner unit. This debris can cause moisture problems, and may cause issues with your air conditioner’s heat exchanger if it gets inside your system.
- Pick a time when you know the weather will be nice for the next few days, and hose off the outdoor unit to get rid of caked-on dirt and debris (Make sure you disconnect the power to your unit first). Let it dry completely, and then cover it.
- Cover your outdoor unit to protect it from rain, sleet and snow, but don’t enclose it completely. A confined space gives critters a place to hide, and increases the likelihood of moisture, rust and mold. It’s better to lay a sheet of plywood over top of the unit, or drape a cover over it.
- Drain water hoses. If your air conditioner has a valve to shut off the water, be sure to close it after you drain the hoses and pipes.