We love our Minnesota Fall’s as much as anyone. Crisp mornings, pumpkin patches, and other autumnal festivities are the best part of the year. But winter will be here before you know it, and you are gonna want your home to be ready! Here are some best practices to winterize your homes HVAC system so that your holidays don’t end up more expensive than you planned!
Extreme temperatures, especially in a Minnesota winter, can be rough on your home. Usually, an A/C is built to withstand snow, rain, and other normal temperatures. The first thing you should do is shut off your air conditioner. Then find the electrical circuit and turn off the power for your system. You don’t want it to come on during a day. That is unusually warm for the season. If it were able to turn on, it could get water in the system which can freeze, cause damage, or rust.
Next, you want to clean your air conditioner. Since it’s been running since spring all though summer and into autumn dust, debris and other particles have all had time to build up. You’re going to need to clean out your unit on a warm sunny day. We don’t want any of the water to freeze. Start by removing any twigs, leaves or grass from the outside unit, including the inside if possible. This debris makes perfect building material for critters to nest with during the winter, often leading to damaged wires thanks to their chewing. After removing the big debris, rinse the unit with your garden hose. The spray will remove smaller things like dirt, bugs, and pollen that have collected. Finally give it a quick wipe down with a dry towel and it’s all clean.
After the unit is clean, we are going to cover the exposed pipes with some insulation. You can pick them up at most hardware stores. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own with pool noodles. The covers prevent freezing and should slip on easily and be sealed with duct tape to keep them on.
It’s not just the pipes that need to be covered but the entire unit itself. After letting it dry completely, cover it with a water proof cover, each manufacture will have recommendations and may even sell covers for your specific model. If you end up making the cover yourself, just make absolutely sure that it completely covers the device. The cover will make your A/C unit an even more desirable winter home for little animals. If you don’t have a cover for the whole machine, at the very least you’ll need to cover the top using bricks and plywood to prevent other debris from getting into your system during the long winter. When spring does finally come around, make sure to remove any covering you added. Leaving it on will make your A/C unit work harder than it has to and could lead to damage or even needing a full replacement.
The last tips and tricks are to check on the device periodically during winter and to have professionals give it a tune up and inspection every year. Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your system alive and running longer. Luckily Twin City Heating, Air and Electric is here for you to support your family and home.