Improving Your Air Conditioner

Winter Is Here: 3 Ways To Protect Your AC During The Cold Weather

If you're used to just shutting your air conditioner off at the end of summer, you might be shortening its life expectancy. Air conditioners need to be winterized before the cold weather arrives. Proper winterization will ensure that it's ready to get turned back on when the warm weather returns.  Here are some easy-to-follow instructions that will help you get your air conditioner ready for winter.

Start On the Outside

You might think you can leave the outside of the unit alone. However, it's the outside that collects the most dirt and debris. That dirt and debris can clog the lines. Use a broom to loosen the dirt that's collected on the outside of the AC housing. Once the dirt has been loosened, use a shop vacuum to remove the dirt and debris that's been left behind. Use a crevice tool to remove the dirt that's inside the fins along the outside of the unit.

Move to the Inside

Now it's time to clean the inside of the AC unit. To get to the inside, you'll need to remove the grill. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the grill in place. Carefully lift the grill up and set it aside. Now that the fan blade is exposed, you'll be ready to give it a thorough cleaning.

Attach a high pressure nozzle to your garden hose and clean the inside of the air conditioner housing. Be sure to spray under the fan blades and along the base of the AC unit to remove any bird's nests or rodent bedding that might be hiding there. Replace the grill and allow the AC unit to air dry.

Finish With the Drainage Tubes

Take a look at the drainage tubes. The condensation that flows through those tubes provide an excellent environment for mold and algae growth. Unfortunately, if the mold and algae are allowed to remain in the tubes, the spores can be blown into your home the next time your AC is turned on. To properly winterize your air conditioner, you'll need to remove the moisture inside the drain tubes and give them a thorough cleaning.

For this portion of the winterization, you'll need to use a cleaning solution of bleach and water. Place 1 gallon of water and 2 cups of bleach in a bucket. Find the drain port that's attached to the back of your air conditioner. Carefully remove the cap and place a funnel inside the opening. Pour about ½ of the cleaning solution into the drain. Place a pipe cleaner or bottle brush inside the tube. Scrub the inside of the tube.  Pour the remaining solution into the tube and repeat the process. Replace the cap.

Don't leave your air conditioner unprotected during the winter. The tips provided here will help you winterize your air conditioner. For additional information on how to protect your AC, be sure to contact your air conditioner repair technician.

For an HVAC contractor, contact a company such as JV Systems Air Conditioning And Heating of Tampa Bay Inc.