Air conditioning helps make homes and offices comfortable on summer days, but that doesn't mean you can ignore your HVAC system during the colder seasons. Keep your AC running smoothly when hot weather arrives by maintaining your air conditioning unit year round, even if you don't plan on using your unit in the near future. Here are 3 things you can do for your AC system this winter, either on your own or with help from a professional contractor who provides air conditioning maintenance services.
Flip the Exterior Power Switch
People often control their air conditioners with a thermostat or smartphone, but many HVAC units also have an exterior switch. Make sure this switch is turned off when summer ends by searching for a small metal box attached to the side of your home. Look for a red switch or a button labeled "off" inside of the box, then push it. This helps prevent your air conditioner from powering on if you have a winter day that's warmer than usual, which is important because running the AC on a cold day may result in frozen condensation that damages your unit.
Clean Your Air Conditioner Regularly
At least once a week, take a broom and remove outdoor debris, including twigs and leaves, from the area around your air conditioner. If the temperatures haven't already dropped too low, spray away dirt and bird feces with a hose. Avoid doing this if it's cold enough for water to freeze, as this may damage your HVAC system. You should also make time to wipe down the top of your air conditioner each week, especially if it's covered in a thick layer of snow. Snow puts pressure on your air conditioner, which can result in the need for air conditioning installation services if you require a replacement unit after winter ends.
Check for Damage
Look for signs of rust, cracks, or leaks on your air conditioner each time you clean it, even if you didn't find any issues last time. If you suspect something is wrong with the interior of your unit, you may want to request air conditioning maintenance from an HVAC professional. It can be difficult to take the unit apart yourself, and you may break or scratch your air conditioner. You may also loosen some of the wires inside, which can result in electrical issues or even a fire. Be careful, and contact an air conditioning expert if you ever need help with maintenance, repairs, or installation for your HVAC system.