Now that winter is here and you’ve stopped using your air conditioner, you may have pushed all thoughts of A/C maintenance out of your mind. At HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains, we believe that a little extra care in the winter can help your air conditioner stay functional and operational throughout the spring and summer.
The following care tips will help ensure that your air conditioner is in good condition this spring when the weather starts to warm up once again.
Avoid Waterproof Covers
Many people use plastic covers to protect their air conditioner condenser during the winter months. While this may seem like a sensible idea, waterproof covers can actually trap moisture in your unit, causing it to rust and deteriorate.
Air conditioner condensers are designed to be durable in all weather conditions. Your air conditioner should be able to tolerate a cold, wet Ohio winter without a cover to protect it from snow. In fact, air flow around the unit will help ensure that the condenser can dry out after the snow melts, thus helping your air conditioner to stay in good shape throughout the winter months.
Protect From Icicles
Icicles that fall on your air conditioner can damage the grating, or if the icicle falls through the grating, icicles can damage the mechanical parts inside the condenser. To prevent this problem, place a simple plywood board on top of your air conditioner at the start of the winter. This will help ensure that the condenser is protected from falling ice when the temperatures drop below freezing.
Plywood is breathable, so it won’t trap excess moisture in your system. Leave the plywood cover on your air conditioner throughout the winter, but don’t forget to take it off in the spring before using your air conditioner for the first time.
Keep Away Organic Debris
Organic debris like dead leaves and twigs can also work their way inside the condenser. Over time, a buildup of debris in the system can reduce your condenser’s efficiency, causing your air conditioner to work harder than necessary to keep up with demand. Keeping organic debris away from your air conditioner is the best way to protect the unit.
Regularly rake and remove all dead leaves and twigs from the area around your air conditioner. Prune any dead plants from nearby garden beds to prevent twigs and other pieces of organic matter from blowing into condenser fins. Do these things periodically throughout the winter on an as-needed basis.
Change the Air Filter
Your HVAC system uses an air filter to clean the air that flows through your home’s air ducts. This single filter cleans the air when you’re using your furnace as well as your air conditioner. The air filter should be replaced every 3 months or more often if you’re sensitive to dust and pollen.
If you used your air conditioner throughout the summer and are now relying on a furnace to heat your home, your HVAC air filter will likely already need replacement.
You can find your current air filter in the slot between the return air duct and the blower on your system. Remove the filter, buy an identical filter at any home improvement store or hardware store, and then insert the replacement filter. You can also hire a qualified HVAC contractor to replace your filter for you.
Get a Tune-up
Winter is the perfect time to get a tuneup for your air conditioning system. If you live in Cincinnati, contact your HVAC contractor at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains. We can check your system for problems, clean the unit to ensure maximum efficiency, and make recommendations for repairs if needed. Call us today at (513) 333-4357!