Monday, January 20, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Winterizing your Air Conditioning Unit

This winter has been particularly harsh for everyone in all parts of the country due to the ‘polar vortex.’ This raises some concern for homeowners when they have to make a decision about winterizing their homes. One of the most controversial appliances to winterize is your AC unit. Most HVAC companies do say that winterizing your AC unit is really not necessary as they are designed to handle any weather, including harsh winters. However, we believe protecting your AC unit for winter can bring many benefits to you and your unit if it is done properly.

If you decide that you’d like to winterize your unit this winter, here are the best ways to effectively protect it:

Cut off all power to your unit

Turning the power off to your AC unit provides many benefits to you such as saving you money and energy. Keep in mind if you are covering your unit that the power must be turned off before you cover it, if you don’t, you could cause serious damage to the unit, or cause the unit to overheat and cause a fire.

Clear all debris from your unit

Clear out all of the debris that may have fallen into and around the unit in the past few months. Debris can seriously damage the fan or other components in the unit if you don’t clean it up.

Place a piece of plywood on top of your unit

This is an easy and cheap way to protect your unit from falling debris, icicles and snow. Measure out the dimensions of your unit (the standard is 24”x24,” but measure anyway to be safe) and use the appropriate size of plywood; to keep the plywood in place, anchor it down using bricks or heavy rocks.

Cover your unit

This is an extremely controversial decision that only you can decide whether or not it is the correct path for you and your home. The only point companies seem to agree on regarding covering the unit is to never, ever use any materials that restrict ventilation to cover your unit. If done properly, with the proper cover, this method of winterizing your air conditioner can result in cleaner coils, less water damage to the coils, less debris damage, and lower maintenance costs. However, if done improperly, such as with unbreathable materials, moisture and condensation will be trapped and build up causing rusting and corrosion of your unit. Also, this could attract rodents or other small pests to the comfort of a covered environment.

Whether you decide to cover your unit or not, the decision is up to you. Still, winterizing your air conditioning unit in some way is strongly recommended as it definitely can extend the life of your unit and save you money in the process. You can always come to Arctic Fox Heating and Air if you have any questions about preparing your air conditioner for winter. We can also tune up your heating system to provide your home with efficient warmth throughout the winter months. We serve homeowners throughout the Phoenix area.