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Kingston’s A/C Winter Preparation Guide

someone rinsing their AC unit with a hose

Updated November 27, 2019

Summer is over. It hurts us to say that, but it’s something we all have to accept.

It’s fall now, but the season we’re all bracing ourselves for is winter. Fall is the time that we prepare for winter, making this a busy season for homeowners. One thing to always remember when winterizing your home is how much easier it will make your life in the spring.

It’s easy to forget about your air conditioner piled under the snow at the side of your house, but without proper care, you could end up creating a huge headache for yourself come next summer. 

Cut the Power

Your air conditioner has a power outlet in a small box attached to the wall, which should be turned off during the winter. It is unlikely that you will experience any electrical problems over the winter, but it is best to keep your machine off so that it doesn’t turn on before you want it on. 

However, after having the unit off for a couple of months, it is best to do a thorough check before you power it back on for the summer. Starting it before checking could cause damage due to unseen debris or other problems.

Keepin’ It Clean

Just before you move ahead and cover up your A/C unit, you should clean your whole system. First, use a broom to wipe away any leaves, branches, or other debris either on top or surrounding the unit, then use a hose to wash dirt and dust off. 

Cleaning your air conditioner prevents it from clogging when you start it up again in the spring and the summer. 

To Cover or Not to Cover

One of the most highly debated topics when speaking about preparing your air conditioner for winter is whether or not you should put a cover on top of it.

On the one hand, a cover protects your machine from debris, falling ice, and other build-ups that can get lodged in your system over the winter. On the other hand, covers can cause airflow problems that trap moisture in your air conditioner or create a cozy home for an animal looking to stay warm, both of which can lead to damaged parts.

When it comes down to it, the decision is up to you. There is also the option of only covering the top of your air conditioner. Covering the top allows for ventilation through the sides of your air conditioner while still providing some form of protection. There are some covers specifically designed to do this, and they are likely to be the safest bet.

Protecting Pipes & Wires

Your air conditioner is not only the unit itself but also the intricate system of wiring and piping that connects it to your home, and they need just as much attention. When preparing for winter, the best way to protect these systems is by wrapping them in foam pipe covers.

Foam pipe covers insulate and protect them from freezing in deep freeze weather. 

AC unit covered with snow

Get Your Equipment Serviced

It’s best to have your system serviced for the winter for many reasons. One, maintaining regular check-ups on your A/C guarantees it will ready when you need it next spring or summer. Two, if your system is dirty, it could have the same airflow problems that a cover would cause and can trap moisture in the machine. You can even cover all your bases and get your heating system serviced at the same time for winter.

Before your air conditioner gets tucked in by the snow for the winter, make sure it’s ready for hibernation. Or better yet, call us and we will prepare it for you.

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