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How to prepare your HVAC unit for winter

As we near the end of August, it's time to come to terms with the fact that summer is over. The temperatures are already starting to decline and children are headingĀ back to school. While you might still have a couple of beach days ahead of you over the next week or so, the season is going to be fully changed before you even know it! What this means is that you will have to prepare your home for the change, as we move from fall into the long nights of winter. The first job you take care of should be getting your HVAC unit ready to be out of commission over the next several months.

Here are a few tips for taking care of your outside air conditioner for the new season:

  • Buy a cover: This point should be obvious, but it does bear repeating. Having a protective cover over the unit is essential, as it will stop any snow and other winter debris from getting inside the machine and messing with the interior. Plus, the pipes will be particularly vulnerable to freezing and damage, so the cover will provide the extra insulation necessary to keep the pieces from freezing over and cracking during the cold weather.
  • Check on it: Even if you take every precaution necessary, that doesn't mean you can simply set it and forget it. At least once a week you should make the trek around the side of your house to see if there are any possible issues with the cover or other parts of the air conditioner. If everything appears to be in order, then simply leave it as it is. Keeping tabs on what is going on with it will allow you to fix any potential errors as they come upĀ instead of having to deal with major ones once the ice and snow has melted.
  • Clean it out: Because the machine isn't going to be used over the next several months, you want to make sure that you leave it as clean as you possibly can. That means disassembling the pieces that can be removed and scrubbing out every surface - scraping off any dust and other debris that has built up over the course of the summer. You don't want to risk something catching in the machine and clogging it up this winter, only to have to deal with it in the early summer when you need it to work.
  • Install foam covers: Any parts that are exposed to the frigid air and not protected by the cover should be outfitted with foam piping. The added layer of insulation will go a very long way to making sure that the pipes and other wires don't succumb to the freezing temperatures. In order to make sure that the protection stays in place all winter long, duct tape them tightly into place. This will give you peace of mind that, come next spring, your HVAC unit will be ready to run almost immediately once again.

Summer is coming to an end, so you want to make sure your home is as prepared as it can be for the onslaught of harsh winter weather. If you have any last-minute issues with your air conditioner that you need fixed, be sure to schedule an appointment today with John C. Flood for our Arlington, Virginia HVAC repair services!