Ready or not, winter is on its way. Do you know what to do with your air conditioner in winter?
Not sure and you haven’t even thought about it?
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s important to properly put items away which won’t be used over the winter months.
It helps deter issues in the spring and should also help prolong the amount of use you get out of items. There are a variety of different air conditioners.
I’m going to walk you through how to put each type of air conditioner away for winter. Here’s what you need to know:
Central Air Conditioner Units
It’s commonplace for homes to have central air conditioners installed. You can pay to have someone come out and close your unit down for the year.
Or you can follow a few simple steps and avoid unnecessary HVAC bills. Here’s how you can close down a central air conditioning unit for the season:
1. Clean Up the Unit
When preparing to winterize your central air unit, it’s important to make sure you remove all debris from the unit.
A great way to go about doing this is to use a water hose to dislodge the debris. However, when doing this, make sure you give the unit time to dry before continuing.
This will keep the unit from having freezing issues if water remains in the system during the colder months. If water is left inside the unit it could freeze and cause damage.
2. Cut Power
The next step is to stop power from reaching the unit. Most air conditioning units have a power source on them where you can push the button to prevent power from reaching the unit.
Locate the power source on your unit. When it’s found, hit the button. Doing this will prevent the air conditioning from switching on during a possible warm spell over winter.
Not only will this save your electricity bill, but it’ll also keep water from making its way inside the unit. Again, if this happens and the temperatures drop, you could damage your unit because of water freezing inside of it.
3. Protect Your Pipes
There are different pipes and tubes which run into your air conditioning unit. These pipes can freeze if left exposed to the elements.
Therefore, purchase foam pipe protectors. You can cut them to size, fit them around each pipe, and help insulate the pipes from cold temperatures.
4. Provide Protection to the Unit
An air conditioning unit is an expensive investment. The price alone is reason enough to make sure you take care of it.
Therefore, purchase an air conditioning unit cover. The cover will keep debris and water out of the unit during the winter.
5. Maintain Over Winter
Be sure to maintain the protection of your unit over winter. When it snows, be sure to remove the snow from the cover.
It’s also a good idea to randomly brush ice and debris from the cover as well. It will help maintain the integrity of the cover and keep your air conditioner protected in the process.
Window Unit Air Conditioner
I have had central heating and air my entire life until I moved to my current home. We now use window units and a ductless heating and cooling unit.
Therefore, I’m learning they require different care techniques than central air does. Here’s what you need to know to protect your window units over the winter:
1. Take It Out of the Window… If Possible
If your window unit isn’t permanently installed in your home, remove it for the winter. When removing it, be sure to clean any debris from the unit.
Using your water hose to get this part of the job done is a good idea. It should rinse away any twigs or insects which could be hiding in the unit or stuck to the outside.
However, be sure to allow the unit to dry thoroughly before continuing with the next step. You don’t want water to freeze inside the window unit over the winter.
2. Get Rid of the Water
Sometimes window units have water inside of them. Be sure to drain any water in the unit, and also check the weep hole.
It should be unobstructed. Again this is important because as stated above, any water left inside the window unit could potentially freeze and cause damage to your unit.
3. Clean the Filter
Cleaning your air filters regularly should be a priority. Before putting the unit up for winter, you definitely want to do it again.
Most window unit air filters are simple to clean. My window units have a vent in the front which pops off.
Inside the vent are the air filters. I remove the air filters with care and run them under warm water until all the dust has been removed.
I pat the air filters dry and reinsert them into the vent. From there, I pop the vent back into place on the window and unit.
Don’t forget to hit the reset button when putting the air filters back into the window unit to let the unit know they’re clean. This will keep the red warning light from flashing at you unnecessarily.
4. Wrap It Up Tight
When you’re done cleaning the unit, it’s time to wrap it for the winter. You can use any packing material or bubble wrap to secure the unit. The wrap is to prevent damage.
An ideal storage place for the unit will be where it’s dry and warm. A spot where the unit is off the ground or in an elevated location would be best. It will allow airflow to take place and should stop rust and condensation from forming within the unit.
5. It’s Permanently Attached? No Problem!
These steps may sound well and good until you realize your window unit is permanently attached! My units aren’t permanent, but they’re screwed in. It is a headache to take them in and out of windows.
If this is your scenario too, follow all the steps above besides removing the unit. You should clean the outside of the unit with a water hose to remove any debris. You should also give the unit time to dry.
Also, be sure to check the weep hole and drain any water from inside the window unit. Instead of wrapping the window unit, you should put a cover over the unit to protect it from the elements.
Can’t afford a cover? It’s okay. Use a tarp instead. The idea is to keep moisture from the unit when not in use.
I’ve had a ductless system for almost two years now. They’re energy efficient, easy to maintain, and inexpensive to install.
However, you aren’t going to fully winterize this system because most of them work for both heating and air.
But don’t assume you’re out of the woods. The change of seasons is an excellent time to perform necessary maintenance on these units.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Remove the Dust
Dust is a part of life. It can cause us to sneeze and cause your air conditioner to work inefficiently. Therefore, take the time to dust the unit.
Be sure to dust the outside of the unit cover all over. You can open the wall unit and dust the inside of it as well.
Any dust you remove is less dust which end up in your filter or other areas of the unit which could cause it to function below expectation.
2. Clean the Filters
A clean filter makes the difference between a functioning unit, and one which is struggling. The air filters for ductless units can usually be accessed by flipping up the cover of the wall unit.
The filters are located over the coils. Remove them and run each filter under warm water to remove any dust.
Once the filters are clean, place them back over the coils and flip the unit cover back into place.
3. Keep the Outdoor Part of the Unit Clean
The outdoor part of the ductless system also houses coils and the condenser. Make sure you keep these items clear of debris too.
It’s a good idea to use the water hose to remove dirt, grime, debris, and bugs from the unit. Be sure to turn the unit off before hosing it down.
When you feel the unit is clean, give it time to air dry before turning it back on. This should help cut down on the amount of water left inside the unit which could cause issues as the temperatures drop.
Regardless of what kind of air conditioning unit you have, when the temperatures heat up, you’ll want it to work.
Therefore, you should take care of it now. If you’re having any issues with your air conditioning, consider calling a service technician to make sure all fluids are where they need to be.
By caring for your unit now, it could help it to last longer and also work when you need it most. Take the few minutes it takes now to care for it. You’ll thank yourself for it later.