Tips to Winterize Your Central Air Conditioner

AC unit covered with snow | Aire Serv

Believe it or not, your central air conditioner still needs some attention when the temperature drops. Typically, you won’t be running the AC unit to cool down your home (unless you prefer the cold all year long). Still, your central air conditioner requires winter maintenance, so it’s good to go when summer rolls back around. You might remember us talking about pre-season maintenance, which incorporates some of the same winterizing tasks. But how do you winterize your central air? The process isn’t complicated at all! In fact, our Jackson heating and cooling professionals have a few tips for preserving your AC unit through any harsh winter weather.

Why is Winterizing Your Central AC Unit Important?

As summer continues to fade into fall and fall into winter, you’ll notice you don’t need your AC often (or at all) to regulate your home’s temperature. But it’s vital to complete various tasks that protect its efficiency while idle for the winter. Why? Let’s talk about a few benefits of winter maintenance.

Winterizing your AC unit helps:

  • Protect it against snow and ice
  • Maintain the mechanical parts
  • Prevent rust and water damage
  • Sustain efficient operation
  • Eliminate moisture and potential mold

Maintaining a regular weekly schedule for AC winterization will go a long way in ensuring your unit has a long operational life.

Clean the Coil Fins & Coils

Before the temperature drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, clean your AC’s coil fins and coils. Over the summer, constant use will cause your air conditioner to attract dirt and debris that gets lodged in the condenser and evaporator coils. If this debris isn’t removed, your AC could work overtime, causing large spikes in your energy bills. Additionally, you’ll want to keep bushes and tree limbs cut appropriately, with at least 2 feet of clearance to promote better airflow.

To properly clean your coil fins and coils, turn off the air conditioner and use a fin comb to remove small objects stuck between the fins. You can also clean away debris by removing the top of the condenser and applying coil cleaner to the inside. After about 10 to 15 minutes, spray the inside and outside with water.

Invest in an AC Unit Cover

When winter rears its chilly head, you know what’s soon to follow: snow, sleet, and ice. Your air conditioner needs some protection from the elements, especially after you’ve spent time cleaning the fins and coils. Another way to winterize your central air unit is by purchasing a cover or getting plywood to place over the top to prevent moisture buildup.

Pro tip: Use car wax on the outside of your AC unit to waterproof and protect the metal surface from rain, ice, and snow.

Insulate the Pipes

Because external pipes are subject to severe weather, it’s crucial to insulate them, so they don’t freeze. Foam rubber, fiberglass, and polyethylene foam are three of the most popular air conditioner pipe insulation that you can easily purchase at a home improvement store in Jackson. Installation is simple whether you need to replace old insulation or add a completely new lining!

Install AC pipe insulation by:

  • Carefully removing the old lining with a utility knife
  • Cleaning the pipes to remove any dirt, debris, or pests that may have gotten stuck under the old insulation
  • Wrapping the new insulation around the pipes one segment at a time
  • Removing the protective backing from the adhesive to seal the edges
  • Using electrical tape to connect segments and eliminate areas that aren’t insulated

Continue to Maintain the Unit

Even with your protective measures in place, your air conditioner will still need some attention to remain intact during the winter. Continue to check your AC at least once a week to ensure your pipe insulation and unit cover adequately preserve your cooling system. After all, the last thing you want is your AC to deteriorate during winter and malfunction when the temperature warms up again.

Hire Our Jackson Technicians for Professional AC Winterizing

Now that you know how to winterize your central air conditioner, consider letting our Jackson HVAC professionals knock it out for you. With years of experience and a passion for supporting homeowners with exceptional heating and cooling services, Aire Serv of Jackson is the company you can trust.

Don’t wait until cold weather sweeps in without warning. Call Aire Serv of Jackson to schedule an appointment for winter maintenance today.