How to winterize your central air conditioner

Woman sitting in a chair in front of heater ready to winterize her central air conditioner in Atlanta

Brace yourself...winter is here. Before you grab your favourite winter jackets and enjoy the season, ensure you pay a visit to your central air conditioner and prep it for winter - so it doesn't cause you problems. You see, despite your central air conditioner being located outside, it needs care and that's why many HVAC specialists advocate winterizing air conditioner units. Before you learn how to winterize your central air conditioner, it's vital to know 'why' HVAC specialists Atlanta recommend it in the first place.

Why is winterizing your central air conditioner important?

You definitely don't want to spend money acquiring a new central air conditioner simply because you never winterized it. During winter, elements such as ice, water and particles accumulate around and inside your unit. They can clog, cause rust and eventually lower your air conditioner's performance. It's extremely important that you follow these steps in order to winterize the air conditioner unit the right way and to avoid problems such as air conditioner running but not cooling the house. 

Steps on how to winterize your central air conditioner

  1. Turn off central AC. First, ensure your unit is turned off. This step is crucial to avoid electrocution among other problems. To turn it off, simply locate your on/off switch and shut down.
  2. Clean your AC. Before you start the cleaning process, ensure the weather is warm and conducive so as to dry every area of your unit. Using a piece of wet clothing, wipe any dust, animal droppings and dirt off the AC. Also check beneath the AC and remove any sticks, leaves and other elements  that could attract animals.
  3. Cover the top of your central AC. It's recommended you use a furnace cover or tarp to cover the top of your unit. So why cover the top and not anywhere else? This is so as to prevent leaves, sticks and icicles from falling on top of the unit, then inside and eventually damaging your unit. Don't forget to remove the cover once winter season is over though.
  4. Wrap any pipes that are exposed. Ensure you wrap any exposed pipes around your unit using foam pipe covers. This process is simple: Just slide the pipe covers on top of the exposed pipes and, using duct tape, tape them together.
  5. Make it a habit to check your unit. Once you are done with the above steps, don't fold your arms and relax yet. Ensure you inspect your unit every month in winter so as to ensure no elements sneaked inside the unit. Also, wipe away any snow that accumulates on the unit.