As many television enthusiasts will tell you, winter is coming. The inevitability that a cold season is, indeed, upon us is true. But how do you prepare for the winter? Odds are you change your wardrobe to long sleeves and buy as much hot chocolate as your pantry can hold, but what do you do about your air conditioning unit? Sure, it is cold outside so you don’t need to turn it on, but is it as prepared to take on winter as you are?
The truth is that your unit has been built and manufactured to withstand high heats and low colds. The idea that that you should be worried about freezing temperatures or ice buildup on your unit is actually second to what you should be worried about what could happen in autumn. When dirt, leaves, twigs, and all matters of debris get into your system, they could possibly block it up and moisture can start to gather. It is best to keep your unit clean and clear of debris. Remove any twigs that could have gotten lodged in your unit, remove any leaves, and spray off any dirt. This goes for both the outside and the inside of the unit. Don’t be afraid to use a hose to spray down your unit, but do remember to spray it down well before it starts to get cold outside, to allow it to dry out instead of freeze over.
After you have cleaned your unit, it is time to shut it off. Turn the unit off completely to ensure that no warm days allows for the unit to turn back on. When winter throws a day warm enough to turn your unit on, it fills the pipes with water and could possibly cause the pipes to freeze if the temperature drops that low in the coming days. Frozen pipes can burst in the most extreme cases, and could be the result of a very pricey repair bill in the spring.
Although most people fear their unit freezing, they should remember that the unit is built to withstand rough temperatures, both hot and cold. The equipment you should be worried most about isn’t the unit, but the pipes themselves. As mentioned above, a bursted pipe can spell an expensive bill. So the best approach it so cover the pipes with pipe covers. These pipe covers should be foam insulation covers, to help keep any heat in and all the cold out, to help your pipes not freeze over.
A Superior AC, preparing you for any weather with their Preventative Maintenance plan, says to be wary about using covers. Just because the calendar says “winter,” doesn’t mean your unit needs a cover. Covers can actually do much more harm than good. Covers are generally used to keep moisture out, however, they’ve been shown to trap moisture in, resulting in mildew and mold inside your unit. Also, the cover is typically seen as an ideal home for rodents, as it can provide protection from winter’s elements. Rodents can use your covered system as an escape from winter, and they can chew your wires and leave a nasty mess. Covers should only be applied before rough snow storms, blizzards, or ice storms. If you are unable to cover it before the storm, it shouldn’t be a problem, as again, these systems are built to withstand rough temperatures. Once the storm has passed, you should take off the cover immediately to avoid allowing the moisture to sit under the cover. Also, you should remove any snow buildup around the unit when you take the cover off, too.