You know what’s coming because it comes for us every year. The leaves have turned and let go, cluttering your yard and neighborhoods. Deep breaths are harsh, as the bitter cold air fills and stings our lungs. That’s right, Hoosiers: Winter isn’t just coming – it’s already here. With lows already in the mid-20s and flurries scattered about, it is time you knew how to protect your AC this winter.
With these four essential, easy-to-complete tips from Central Indiana’s most trusted heating and cooling company, Complete Comfort, you can save your AC unit and money from Old Man Winter’s bombardment this year.
Turn Off Power to the Outside Unit.
The first step to protect your air conditioning unit from the damage this winter is it make sure the thermostat is set to the “off” position inside the home. Next, you’ll want to make sure the outside of the unit is also shut off in case some accidentally turn the thermostat to “cool.”
Mounted on the outside of the house next to the unit, you will find a plastic or metal circuit box. Open it. If you see is a circuit breaker in the form of a switch, move it to the “off” position. If you see a circuit breaker that appears to have a handle, grab the handle and pull the breaker, turn it over, and place it back into the slot.
Clean and Wash the Unit.
With a water hose, wash around the base and sides of the unit. Make sure to spray in an upward motion when cleaning the sides of the unit to remove any dirt or debris that may be trapped by the louvers.
Next, apply a coat of car wax to the painted surfaced of the unit in much the same manner as you would a car. This will provide a coat of armor to the unit this winter, protecting it from scaling and rust. Lastly, clear the unit of any branches or clutter that is within a two-foot radius.
Install Foam Pipe Covers.
Since the pipes of your unit contain water this winter, you will need to protect them from freezing. Foam covers are easy to cut and fit and are available at any hardware store.
Simply measure the pipe to be covered and cut a piece of foam to fit it. The pre-made slits in the foam covers will make it easy to slide onto the pipe. Next, wrap each foam pipe cover with a strip of duct tape once around. This will ensure the pipe cover stays on during winter and comes off easily in spring.
Secure the Unit with Plywood.
While this method is unconventional, it is the most effective way to protect your unit from falling ice and branches. Place a large 24×24 square of plywood on the top of the unit.
Next, find a brick or a large rock and set in on top of the plywood to hold in place. This will protect your unit while also allowing it to breathe this winter. Most manufacturers do not recommend covering the unit with store-bought covers because they create a warm place for animals during winter and hold in moisture that can damage your unit.
While these DIY tips will help protect your unit from Old Man Winter, they are by no means a comprehensive guide to securing your air conditioner for winter. In fact, the best and most apt way to ensure that your AC survives this winter is to schedule regular maintenance checkups.
Routine checks on your HVAC system can also save you from an expensive repair later. Our highly trained experts can winterize your home and AC, as well as spot signs of larger issues to come. Complete Comfort is Central Indiana’s most trusted heating and cooling system provider. We’re confident you’ll understand why when you meet us. Call us at (317) 671-7552 to schedule your appointment today!