Winterizing Your Air Conditioning Units

As the leaves begin to fall and the cool sets in, it is important that you prep your air conditioner for the rough months ahead. While air conditioners are designed to be outside and handle the elements, taking a few minutes to winterize your air conditioners can help extend the life of this expensive asset, thus delaying your organization a replacement headache and the costs of a new unit. In addition to your manufacturers recommended maintenance, below you will find four steps on how to easily prep your air conditioner for winter.

  1. Turn the Unit Off – Prior to any maintenance on your air conditioner you must turn it off! Depending on the type of unit, this can be done by flipping the associated breaker, using the switch located next to an outdoor unit, or simply unplugging it. Once powered down, you are ready to continue with your maintenance.

  1. Wash the Unit – Clear your unit of any sticks, leaves, or other debris that might make a nice home for any small critters looking to nest for the winters. Critters that decide to nest are known to stay for dinner and snack on wires, which makes for a sad surprise when the heat comes back around. After that, utilize soapy water and a cloth to wash the outside of the unit, cleaning off any dust and dirt that may have accumulated over the season. Lastly, complete your cleaning by drying the unit completely.

  1. Cover the Unit – Once the unit is dry, utilize a manufacturer’s cover, a tarp, or another means to cover your unit for winter. If for whatever reason you can’t cover the whole unit, try to cover the top grated area to prevent debris from falling into and damaging the unit. Make sure that the covering is secure enough to stay on all winter. If you are dealing with window air conditioners, it is best to uninstall them from the window and store them inside.

    However you decide to cover your unit, it is imperative that you remember to remove the cover prior to utilizing your air conditioner. If you attempt to use your air conditioner with the cover on you can overheat and damage your unit.

  2. Cover the Pipes – If this was not already done when you unit was installed, take the time to cover any exposed pipes from the unit to the building. This can be done cheaply and easily by purchasing and installing foam pipe coverings. Insulating your pipes helps prevent them from freezing and breaking.

Congrats! In just four easy steps you have prepared your air conditioner for winter. Make sure to take the time to complete these preparations for all your organization’s air conditioner units, doing so will help maximize their life and save your organization money. During this process, don’t be afraid to contact an HVAC professional if you see something that might be of concern.

We are here to help! For additional questions, contact Church Mutual Insurance Company’s Risk Control Central.

The information contained in this article is intended solely to provide general guidance on topics that may be of interest to you. While we have made reasonable efforts to present accurate and reliable information, Church Mutual Insurance Company disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions, or for any actions you take or fail to take based on this article. The information provided may not apply to your particular facts or circumstances; therefore, you should seek professional advice prior to relying on any information that may be found in this article.

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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

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Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.