Tips to Help You Winterize Your AC Unit

If you have a central air-conditioning system, then you may not be thinking much about maintenance tasks, especially since cooler temperatures will soon be taking over. However, if you want your air conditioner to function properly next summer, then you need to make sure that you winterize the appliance. To learn about some of the basic tasks that you should complete in the fall, keep reading.

Turn Off the Unit

Most people leave their air conditioners on all season long. After all, the unit will not turn on unless the indoor and outdoor temperatures rise substantially. While it may seem like a fluke to have a warm day here or there that can cause the air-conditioner to turn on, abnormally warm winters are becoming more and more common. In fact, the month of February had the warmest temperatures on record for the last two years straight. If it becomes unusually warm during the day and your air conditioner turns on, then this may not be a huge issue. However, if it becomes cold again overnight, parts of the AC unit can freeze.

Freezing will occur when condensation builds within the air conditioner and the temperature drops. The copper coils that allow refrigerant to run through the system are most likely to form condensation, and the fluid will then freeze. When this happens, a great deal of pressure and stress is placed on the copper coolant lines as well as the compressor pump, blower, and other attached parts. 

Leaving your air conditioner on all the time may also be an issue if your thermostat happens to break. A broken thermostat can cause the unit to begin running when the outside temperatures are freezing. This can cause a full breakdown of the unit. Not only will the cooling coils start to freeze, but the compressor pump will seize. This pump requires constant lubrication, and the compressor oil inside the unit will provide this. This oil will thicken when it becomes cold and will not lubricate the pump properly. 

While some air conditioners do have internal sensors that stop them from coming on when the temperatures drop, not all units will have advanced features like this, especially if they are a few years old. It is much better to turn off the unit completely than to possibly risk a serious malfunction. Your central air-conditioning unit will have a circuit breaker attached to it either inside or outside your home. Look for the breaker and flip it to the off position. You should do this when the outside temperatures drop below 60 degrees during the day because most units do not function properly once temperatures are this low. 

Add a Cover

It may not seem important to add a cover to your air conditioner since the unit sits outdoors, but this is quite important. While a central air-conditioning condenser is meant to withstand the UV rays of the sun and the occasional rain storm, it is not meant to stay wet for long periods of time. The majority of the AC unit will be covered by a powder-coated steel or an impact-resistant plastic case. This case will protect the majority of the pieces inside the condenser, but the aluminum cooling fins will be exposed. While aluminum does not rust like steel, it will corrode when it is in the presence of water for a long period of time. This can cause holes called pits to form in the metal. The aluminum fins are directly connected to the condenser coil. If the corrosion causes the aluminum fins to break or fall off, then the entire condenser coil will need to be replaced. 

To prevent corrosion, make sure to place a waterproof cover over the AC unit. Vinyl covers work well to keep AC units safe from weather damage. Make sure to purchase one or two ratchet straps when you buy the cover and tighten them over the cover to keep it secure. Talk to a company such as Winters Heating Cooling for more information.

About Me

Remaining Comfortable In Your Home after Completing a Major Renovation

In a few, short months, my spouse and I will begin the construction process to build a much needed addition onto our small home. The addition will include a den and a master suite. But because our home will be much larger after the building process is complete, we will need to update our HVAC system. After speaking with our knowledgeable HVAC contractor, we’ve decided to purchase a second heating and air conditioning unit for our home. This additional unit will be considerably smaller than our current one. It will only heat and cool the new addition to our house. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best options for heating and cooling a home after building an addition onto it.

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