As fall approaches, you may be thinking about what you need to do to get your home ready for the winter months, with shutting down your central air conditioner being a part of this list. If so, use the following tips to get your central air conditioning unit ready for winter weather.
Change the Filter
Throughout the summer months, you may have stayed diligent about changing the air filter to keep your unit working properly. Because you may have recently changed the filter, you may feel as though you can leave it in your air conditioner during the winter.
However, before you shut down your AC unit for the season, you should always change the filter. Because the filter traps dust, debris, pollen, and even mold spores, small amounts will remain in the air conditioner. As moisture and changing temperatures occur, these particles can result in mold and mildew growth inside the unit. And, as the sun beats down on the unit, even if the temperatures are cold, this growth can become worse.
Come spring, you may find that you have to have your air conditioner professionally cleaned before you are able to turn it on. It is better to avoid this entire situation by installing a clean filter when you shut down the unit, then replace that one when you start it back up to ensure that no allergens are blown through your house.
Lay a Piece of Plywood on the Top
Another thing you should do when you shut down your central air conditioner for the winter is to take measures to protect the compressor, which is typically located near the top of the unit. Because rain, snow, ice, and debris can enter the vents towards the top of the AC unit, this area is the most vulnerable.
To keep the top protected, lay a piece of plywood that has been cut to fit just past the edges. Then, lay a few stones or bricks on the plywood to keep it from moving. The plywood will shield the AC unit from damage. Then, periodically check during the winter months to make sure the wood has not shifted, and make adjustments as needed.
Using the above tips should get your AC unit ready for wintry weather so that it is ready for use the next spring and summer. However, if you run across any problems or feel that your air conditioning unit is in need of cleaning and maintenance, contact an AC service to schedule an appointment.