What Should I Do With My Air Conditioner This Winter?

October 11, 2013

Now that fall has settled into the Cincinnati area, you may be enjoying this mini-break from high energy bills—you don’t need your air conditioner running constantly and you don’t yet need your gas furnace or heat pump to keep you warm. But with heating season just around the corner, are you properly preparing your air conditioner for winter?

At Rick’s Heating & Cooling, we’ve seen many customers contact us in the spring when they go to turn on their AC unit and find that it was damaged and weathered during the colder months. It’s important that you prepare your cooling unit for winter to avoid these costly repairs come spring—keep reading to find out how!

Do I need to winterize my air conditioner?

Prepping your air conditioning unit for the colder months is important to ensure that will continue to run at maximize efficiency and last its expected 15 to 20 year lifespan.

As leaves and snow drifts pile up, help your unit by keeping the area 2 to 3 feet around it clear. Preventing pile up surrounding your system can help prevent clogging, rust, and further damage.

Covering your AC unit is something that is recommended by many cooling professionals. Doing so protects it from debris, ice, and snow that could damage parts. The harsh winter winds and storms can also lead to expensive repairs down the road. Keep reading to learn how to cover your air conditioner before December and January arrive in Cincinnati.

Should I cover my air conditioner during winter?

Investing in an air conditioner cover for winter can be confusing to homeowners because it makes sense to cover your outdoor equipment to protect it from the elements. However, at Rick’s Heating & Cooling, we don’t recommend fully covering the entire unit as you may often see in stores.

Why not? It’s common that by covering the entire air conditioner, you create a vapor barrier that can trap moisture in your condensing unit, which can cause your unit to rust from the inside out.

Instead, our HVAC professionals at Rick’s suggest putting a piece of plywood on top of your unit. This ensures that falling leaves and heavy ice and snow from winter don’t damage your machine and that there is still ventilation throughout the system.

The exterior part of your air conditioning unit was made to stay outside, so don’t worry too much about covering your entire unit.

How should I prep my AC unit after winter?

At least once a year—preferably when winter ends and there are the first signs of spring—you should schedule a routine air conditioner maintenance tune-up and inspection. This will help ensure the efficiency and optimal operation of your system. A professional HVAC technician can make sure that your air conditioner was not damaged during the colder months.

AC maintenance doesn’t take a long time, but it can have long term benefits for the life of your air conditioning unit and spare you from costly repairs or even replacements down the road. If you properly take care of your cooling system throughout the winter, you shouldn’t require any repairs and can transition your home’s comfort smoothly into the warmer months.

Schedule HVAC Services in Cincinnati, Ohio

If you want your air conditioner to run smoothly and make a repair-free transition between heating and cooling seasons, there’s only one name you need to know in the Cincinnati area—Rick’s Heating & Cooling.

Our highly trained experts can help ensure that your AC unit runs efficiently season after season. Call us today at 513-899-6005 for end-of-season air conditioning maintenance or to ask more questions about winterizing your unit before the cold kicks in.

You should also remember that it’s the perfect time to get your furnace tuned-up before it’s relied on heavily to heat your home—annual professional furnace inspections are recommended so contact us today to schedule yours!