How to Clean Your Outdoor A/C Unit Before Covering it for Winter

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Welcome to fall in Minneapolis! As the weather starts to cool down, the less we will use our air conditioners. That means that this is the perfect time to lightly clean your air conditioner before covering up the outdoor unit for winter. While major cleaning should be reserved for just before turning it on in the spring, it is still helpful to clean up before covering your outdoor unit. It’s important to cover your outdoor unit because dead leaves and dirty snow will build up or damage your outdoor unit. There are even some easy ways you can do it yourself.

Unplug your outdoor unit

Your outdoor air conditioning unit uses its own power supply, usually from a power box along the siding of your home. Unplugging it will keep you safe from any electrical issues that may arise. If you need help locating the right power supply, contact your HVAC professionals to learn more about how your air conditioner works.


Clean around the unit

Cleaning the dirt, sticks, and leaves around the unit will keep your unit from getting them from blowing back into the unit. Use a broom or your hands to clean the area around it.

Remove the top of the unit

This is an optional step depending on how much you want your air conditioner to be clean. The top of the unit will have different types of screws depending on the type of unit. If you have any questions, call your HVAC technician. Be careful of the fans that are at the top of the unit.

Remove debris inside the unit

You will most likely have to use your hands to scoop out any sticks or leaves you find inside. Remember to be careful! There are places where your hands or debris could get stuck. If you are having trouble cleaning out your air conditioning unit, call your HVAC provider.

Spray out the unit

If you want a deeper clean, use your hose to spray out the inside and outside of your outdoor air conditioner. Use the mist setting on the handle to make sure that nothing is damaged in the unit. A light spray will get out all of the dirt before you put the top back on the air conditioner.

Cover up the unit

Now that it is clean, cover up the outdoor unit to protect it during the winter. There are many covers that you can buy for your unit, or you can build your own. Either way, it is ready for winter!

If you have any questions about getting your air conditioner or furnace ready for winter, schedule an appointment! We recommend doing a furnace tune up before you turn it on.