If you live in a snowy area, then you know the amount of time that goes into preparing your home's exterior for the onslaught of precipitation, cold, and slush. You probably take the time to seal your windows and doors, make sure the gutters are clear, and repair any roof damage before winter hits. In all of your preparations, do you remember to take care of your air conditioner? Many homeowners don't and this has consequences later on when their air conditioner quits prematurely or needs repairs. To ensure your AC is as protected as possible during the snowy months, here are some tips to care for and prepare it.
1. Turn off the power.
Heavy snowstorms can bring power outages and those power outages can bring surges when the power goes back on. It would be a shame for your AC to short out when you're not even using it. Turning the power off to the unit will ensure this does not happen. If you can't find the power switch on your air conditioner itself, it may not have one. (Some older models do not.) You can still turn the power off at the circuit breaker.
2. Cover your unit.
In a milder climate, your air conditioner would probably be okay uncovered for the winter. But with feet of snow coming down from the sky in the coming months, it could really use some protection. If you do not have an AC cover, contact your AC services contractor to order one. Wait for a dry day to put it on your AC unit so you don't trap moisture against the metal, negating the purpose of the cover in the first place.
3. Divert water away from the unit.
If there are any gutter downspouts that empty near your air conditioner, you should re-route them. When the snow melts and trickles down the gutter, you don't want it landing on your air conditioner or forming a puddle around the unit. You can find downspout extenders at most hardware stores. They just snap onto the ends of your gutter downspouts and direct the water a few feet away.
If you follow the tips above, your AC unit will be better protected from the snow and cold. If your system was acting strange towards the end of summer, now is also the perfect time to have it serviced. You'll be glad it's back up and running well when warm weather returns.
For more information about AC services, contact a company like Arizona Refrigeration Service Inc.