How to Winterize your AC Unit in Delaware
Delaware fall tends to start in mid-October with chillier weather and even the first snow as early as November. During this mild time in early October, you might turn your AC unit off and start leaving the windows open until it’s cold enough to turn the heat on. If you’re especially thrifty, you may have already turned the AC off for the season.
The question remains:
How do you protect your Air Conditioning unit through the winter?
It’s simple, really. Follow these few steps to winterize your AC unit. This will not only ensure that your AC unit is protected through the sometimes harsh Delaware winter, but it will also extend the life of your air conditioner too.
Step 1: Turn off the power
In order to begin preparing your AC unit for winter, your first step is to turn the power off. This will prevent electrical damage to your AC over a wet Delaware winter, but it will also prevent your AC unit from being turned on accidentally.
To turn off the exterior power, locate the circuit outside. Next, open the lid and locate the right switch. Hit the switch to turn off the power to the AC unit and close the lid tightly again.
If you don’t know where your circuit breaker is, or if you don’t know which switch to use, contact your local electrician.
Step 2: Clear debris
After you turn off the power, the next step is to ensure the area around the AC unit is clear. This includes raking leaves, removing branches, and trimming hedges away from the unit. Debris can build up around the unit during a heavy Delaware Hurricane or storm season. It can also be from nearby gardens or a windy fall.
After you clear debris, you’ll want to hose the unit off. The higher the water pressure the better for this step. This will clear the AC unit of dirt, debris, and bugs inside. This will prevent damage to the AC unit over the winter and in the spring when you start it up again.
Wait for the AC unit to completely dry before moving onto the next step. This may take hours or days.
Step 3: Check for damage
After the unit has completely dried, check the outside of the unit and hoses for damage. Cracks and rust in the exterior of the AC unit can harm the unit or become worse throughout the winter.
Call First Class HVAC right away if you notice cracks or rust on your AC unit. One of our expert technicians will seal the cracks and check for additional damage inside the unit. This may save you from costly repair bills next spring and summer.
Step 4: Cover it
Make sure that you cover your AC unit to protect it through the winter. This may mean purchasing a tarp cover from your local hardware store. A tarp cover is relatively inexpensive, and will protect your AC unit from damage and wind through the winter.
Some HVAC specialists debate the use of tarp covers. They claim that moisture will get trapped under the tarp causing mold to grow. To avoid this, ensure there is plenty of room between the bottom of the tarp and the ground for air circulation.
An alternative to a tarp cover is to use a piece of plywood. Place the plywood on top of the unit covering the vents. This will protect the unit from falling debris while allowing plenty of air circulation. Consult a First Class HVAC specialist too determine the best option for your unit and your home.
Step 5: Seal off vents
After you have chosen the best method for covering your AC unit through the winter, you next step is to seal off the AC vents around your home. Open AC vents can make your home drafty and force your heat pump to work harder through the winter. This will also lower the energy efficiency of your home.
Prevent a drafty home by sealing vents and ducts with vent special vent tape. Consult your local hardware store for the correct tape to avoid harming your vents and ducts. Don’t forget to remove the tape and coverings before you turn the AC back on in the spring.
Unofficial Step 6: Call First Class HVAC for help
There is a lot that goes into preparing your home for winter. Winterizing your AC unit takes time and expertise. Using the wrong products can harm your unit and require costly repairs later.
Avoid the struggle. Consult an HVAC expert in Southern Delaware. Our First Class HVAC technicians can winterize your HVAC unit from start to finish. We’ll even come back in the spring to set it all back up again.
Don’t wait. This is the perfect time to begin winterizing your HVAC unit in Delaware. Call First Class today at 302-934-8900.