Although ACs are hardly used in the winter, it doesn’t imply homeowners can afford to delay a routine AC service until Spring. Winter brings increased precipitation as the temperature plummets, making your AC unit prone to various forms of damage. This means that homeowners should keep a watchful eye on their units even more so than in the summer heat.
To learn more about the harmful impact of the elements on your unit and find out how to prevent expensive AC repairs further down the line, read on. With a few simple expert tips, you will be able to extend the life of your device. If you’re a resident of Murrieta, near Wildomar or Lake Elsinore, you have access to the services of dependable HVAC contractors like Action Air.
Can Rain Damage my AC unit?
Typically, rain is unlikely to significantly harm your AC unit. An air conditioner’s key components are housed in a well-sealed metal casing, which is difficult for rain to penetrate. However, water could promote the growth of mold or the spread of rust if you leave your AC uncovered.
While light rain isn’t usually a reason to worry, if there’s very heavy rainfall, producing more than 15 inches of water, you’ll most probably have cause for concern. If an AC sits in deep stagnant water, the chances are the moisture will cause havoc.
In case your AC has had prolonged exposure to deep standing water, wait for it to dry before doing anything else. Do not turn it on. Your first move should be to contact qualified HVAC professionals for a comprehensive AC service. Certified technicians will assess the extent of the damage and suggest and implement the best solution in the situation.
What is more, if there was a rainstorm, you should also keep an eye out for potential wind damage. For example, twigs and other debris carried by the wind may get jammed in the fan blower, creating issues.
Should you cover the air conditioner in winter?
Your outdoor air conditioning unit is at the mercy of the cold, the rain, and other weather conditions. Strong winds can lead to the accumulation of debris that could impair the functioning of your air con. Also, in certain cases water could seep into the unit and freeze inside, and cause a fault with your condenser fins. Icicles could also fall and hit your unit from above, giving you yet another reason to worry.
Thankfully, you can reduce your exterior unit’s exposure to the elements in a very simple way, by providing a cover for it during the winter. Here are some ideas for you to try out:
- Use covers made from breathable materials only. Although effective at protecting your unit from dirt and debris, plastic covers won’t allow the moisture to evaporate. This may lead to the development of corrosion or mold. This type of cover can also become a safe haven for bugs, causing them to inhabit your AC. Your cover shouldn’t be placed around the unit tightly. Instead, leave it some breathing room.
- You could put a piece of plywood on top of the AC. Put rocks or bricks over it or tie it with a rope to hold it in place. The plywood surface will prevent leaves and ice from getting in touch with the device by providing a barrier.
- Try building a protective awning for the unit. It can be easier than you might expect, so the chances are you could carry it out even if you aren’t an experienced DIY enthusiast. This way, you will shield the unit quite effectively.
- Planting shrubbery around the AC can make for an added layer of protection. Neither wind nor rain will reach the unit so easily if there’s a physical barrier that is keeping it sheltered.
If you have any questions about the maintenance and protection of your air conditioner, feel free to contact a reputable team of HVAC experts. When it comes to such an essential part of your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry. HVAC technicians will inspect your unit to check for any signs of trouble and suggest a suitable repair or maintenance option. Professionals can also clean your furnace before winter, tell you what the typical lifespan of a furnace is, and solve other dilemmas.
When is the best time to test an air conditioner?
Note that you shouldn’t wait for the weather to get too hot before turning on your air conditioner. But, refrain from testing your AC while it’s freezing outside as well. Experts recommend testing your air conditioner when the outside temperature has been above 60 degrees for two days.
Essentially, you should test your AC while it’s still not too cold or too warm outside to enable it to get back into gear more gradually. What’s more, you will be able to catch any issues with your unit before the heating season starts and it gets more difficult to schedule an AC service repair.
How do an AC service after winter?
In order to fully prepare your air conditioner for the Spring and Summer, both the indoor and the outdoor units of your system will require attention.
Before you turn on your AC, you should take some time to address any indoor unit concerns. Prepare the your unit with these at-home AC service procedures:
- Clean the vents: if your AC has been inactive for months, there is a great chance that dust and dirt have accumulated inside the vents. This can decrease your indoor air quality, as it can circulate airborne contaminants throughout your home. Make sure to check and clean the vents to remove any dirt and dust that may have settled there.
- Inspect the ductwork: ductwork inefficiencies can cause homes throughout the U.S. to lose up to 30 percent of energy. This is why it’s important to inspect and seal your ductwork before the cooling season begins. Look for signs of damage in your ductwork, especially in crawl spaces, attic, and basement, and hire HVAC technicians to handle any issues.
- Change the filter: before you turn your unit on, make sure to check and replace your filter. AC filters can quickly get clogged with dust and dirt, especially after months of inactivity, which can contribute to lower efficiency, malfunctions, or breakdowns.
- Inspect your thermostat: is your thermostat old or inefficient? If so, consider purchasing a new programmable thermostat before the spring season to maximize efficiency and ensure even cooling throughout your home.
The outdoor components of your air conditioning system also need to be inspected or given an AC service before use during the spring. This can optimize airflow and make sure that the condenser unit is in tip-top shape after months of inactivity. Take the following steps:
- Remove AC covers: many homeowners choose to cover their outdoor condenser units during the winter months. While this is not recommended for a number of reasons, it is important to remove any covers before using the system for the first time. Running your AC with a cover on may cause a variety of problems fairly quickly.
- Inspect for damage: before turning on the system, check the unit’s outdoor panels and electrical connections for damage. If you notice that any panels are missing or misaligned, make sure to contact HVAC experts to prevent safety risks. Also, make sure to check out the AC line set running from the outdoor unit to your home, as the insulated sleeve wrapping them can sustain cracks, fraying, and other forms of damage.
- Remove debris: it is important to clear away any twigs, leaves, and dirt that may have accumulated along the outdoor unit, as debris can restrict airflow and lower your system’s efficiency.
How preventive AC service & maintenance helps
The best way to ensure optimal performance of your unit and prevent expensive breakdowns in the summer is to schedule an AC service tune-up. Here’s how it can help:
- Regular maintenance boosts the efficiency of your unit which can bring you great energy savings.
- Preventive maintenance can also minimize the risk of unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs.
- Routine maintenance can extend your AC’s lifespan, maximizing its value.
- Not sticking to a routine maintenance schedule can void your warranty and cause you to pay out of pocket for any repairs.
Need expert AC repair and maintenance? Give us a call.We are a team of motivated professionals aiming to maximize your indoor comfort year round. Whether you’re thinking about scheduling an AC service, heater tune-up or need emergency repair, rest assured that we’ll handle the task with professionalism and efficiency.
Our licensed HVAC technicians excel at installing, repairing, and servicing all kinds of HVAC systems owing to their comprehensive expertise and the highest industry standards. No matter what your heating and cooling needs may be, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and maximize your comfort.