Your air conditioner may not get a lot of use at this time of year, but that doesn't mean it can't benefit from proper care and maintenance. Knowing what to do to maintain your air conditioner during cold months can help you keep your air conditioner in good shape for the warmer months.
Maintain Good Air Flow Around the A/C Condenser
Good air flow is important to help air conditioners maintain efficiency and avoid corrosion. These tips will help you maintain good air flow around your air conditioner at this blustery, damp time of year.
- Clean out the condenser. A lot of leaves and other debris may have built up in your air conditioner over the fall. Now is the time to clean out those leaves, before the snow and ice makes that job harder. To clean out your air conditioner, cut the power to the unit and remove the top of the condenser. Use a shop vacuum to remove any trapped leaves and other debris, and flush the remaining junk out with a hose. This is best done at a time when freezing temperatures are not expected in the near future, so watch the weather forecasts when you're doing this.
- Put minimal covering on the A/C (or none at all). Air conditioner covers are sold in hardware stores and in home improvement centers. While some homeowners believe that covering their condenser is an important part of air conditioner care in the winter, covers can actually trap in moisture and cause your unit to rust over time. If you must cover your air conditioner to protect it from falling icicles, placing a simple plywood board over the top of your air conditioner will be good enough.
Replace Your Filter
If you didn't replace your air conditioner filter at the end of the summer, now is a great time to do so. The air conditioner filter will be located in a slot around the return air duct. Pull out the old filter, take it to a hardware store and find a suitable replacement. When you've found the filter that's right for you, take it home and put it back in the spot where the old filter was located.
Get Your Annual Air Conditioning Service
Winter is a great time of year to get your air conditioning service. Finding problems with your air conditioner now means that you'll have many months to get it fixed before you need to use it. Contact your HVAC repair person and schedule your air conditioning service today.