If you want your air conditioner to last the usual 15 to 20 year lifespan, it’s vital that you take care of it and maintain it properly. This includes caring for it during the winter months as snow and moisture pile up around the unit and it stays idle for several months. Many homeowners have a mistaken idea about how to maintain their air conditioning unit during the winter, so consider some simple tips in this regard.
1. Keep it clear. As leaves and snow begin to fall during the autumn and winter months, be sure that you keep your air conditioner unit clear by several feet. Allowing snow to pile up even around the base can allow moisture to seep into the unit and in turn, it can begin to rust and parts begin to break down. The motor may need to work harder once you switch it back on during the summer months and you’ll notice higher utility bills and earlier signs of wear and tear. When you go out to rake leaves or shovel snow, be sure you do the same around your air conditioning unit. 2. Don’t cover it completely. Some shops sell air conditioning covers and often show them covering the air conditioning unit completely. However, if you wrap your unit tightly and cover it completely you can actually allow moisture and condensation to build up in the unit and in turn, it can begin to rust. It’s better if you don’t cover the unit completely but leave enough room to let it breathe. It might be recommended that you put a piece of plywood or a thick board over the top of the unit before you cover it so that the cover doesn’t sit right on the unit. This will allow it some air so moisture can escape during winter. 3. Get a tune-up every spring. In the spring, schedule a tune-up for your air conditioner. A professional can come out and inspect your entire unit, clean it, dry it off from any moisture, and check the major parts like the compressor. This will ensure it’s in good working order and that you won’t damage the unit the first time you turn it on. A spring tune-up can extend the life of your unit and keep it working effectively and efficiently all season long. This is one of the best things you can do to protect it during the colder months.