Prepping Your AC Unit for the Winter


Preparing for Winter

In the winter, either cover your room air conditioner or remove and store it. Covering the outdoor unit of a central air conditioner will protect the unit from winter weather and debris. Wrap vinyl ropes or bungee cords around the air conditioning cover to keep it secure. Make sure the cover is wrapped tightly so it doesn't blow away in strong winds.

Find the air conditioning circuit near your unit. Usually, it has a plastic or metal lid that covers the electrical circuit. Open the lid and flip the switch to turn the unit off. This prevents the unit from turning on during an unusually warm winter day, keeping water out of the unit that could potentially freeze.

There should be a few pipes running between the air conditioner and your home. These pipes contain water, so it is a good idea to ensure that they are not directly exposed to freezing temperatures. Wrap the foam insulating strips around the pipes and secure them with duct tape. A more permanent option is to cut foam blocks to fit around the shape of your pipes and duct tape them into place. While this takes a little bit more time, you will likely be able to reuse the same blocks year after year. Solid foam is also an even better insulator of heat.

Finally, check your air conditioner once a week to make sure the cover is secure. Brush water, snow and ice off the unit. Remove twigs, pinecones and leaves from the cover.