When the weather changes in the Vegas Desert, so does your HVAC system. We will eventually need the heat for the cooler weather, though in the Las Vegas, NV Valley we rely on the air conditioner longer than other places in the country. Winterization helps prepare your air conditioner for next cooling season in addition to helping protect it against winter elements and moisture damage. Prepping your air conditioner for winter is what we at Hal Mechanical would like to further discuss today.
How Do You Winterize Your AC?
Even a short-lived winter Las Vegans are used to, your air conditioner can be negatively impacted by winter conditions. You can prevent any number of minor and major repairs next spring by investing your time now as well as prolong the lifespan of your equipment. Pest infestation, nesting, corrosion, and rust can develop from the winter conditions, as well as damage from debris.
How Do I Prepare My Air Conditioner for Winter?
In order to prepare your air conditioning unit for the off-season, below are the basic steps.
1) Clean Exterior AC Condenser Unit. The condenser is the unit located outside. Confirm the system and unit are completely powered off before you get started cleaning the unit. If you have a shop vac, use a soft brush attachment to power the unit to vacuum debris from the exterior fins.
– If necessary, you can carefully and cautiously straighten any bent fins using a butter knife and gentle pressure.
– Unscrew the top grill and set it aside, then carefully lifting out the fan without bending or disconnecting the wires. Remove any debris from the interior of the unit and gently wipe surfaces with a damp cloth.
– Spray fins from the inside out with a garden hose and moderate pressure. Reinsert the fan, reattach the cover, and restore power once you are finished.
2) Evaluate Compressor. Signs you may need repair include hearing unusual noises such as clunking, buzzing, or grinding, so stand nearby as the air conditioning unit is running and listen for abnormal noises.
3) Air Filter Change or Cleaning. Fresh filters are necessary to protect system components and improve the quality of your indoor air.
4) Maintain Clearance Around Condenser. Declutter the surrounding area. You need to clear long grass and debris from the perimeter of the outdoor unit and make sure the trees, bushes, or foliage are trimmed back to leave a three-foot clearance on all sides.
5) Cover Outside AC Unit. After its final use, place a specially designed AC cover over the unit, and make sure the fit isn’t too tight. This allows for ventilation while preventing rust buildup and nesting by small animals. Secure with a heavy brick or rock to keep it in place for an alternative after resting a sheet of plywood cut to fit the top of the unit plus an additional two feet of overhang on all sides.
6) Schedule a Professional HVAC Inspection. Before the season begins and at the end of the season, air conditioning tune-up should be scheduled and conducted, ideally. Scheduling an inspection service can help ensure any wear and tear is caught and the unit is cared for before serious issues develop.