What Air Conditioning Maintenance Should Be Performed During Winter?

Posted on: 5 January 2017


Although wintry weather can put your home's central air conditioning system out of sight and out of mind, certain issues that tend to rear their heads during winter can cause major problems once the summer sun reappears. From frozen water in the coils to crushed leaves, twigs, and other debris clogging your air intake, you could find yourself dealing with a repair bill well before you've even been able to enjoy your air conditioning for the spring or summer. Read on to learn more about some of the maintenance you may want to perform on your air conditioning unit before the spring thaw. 

What winter maintenance must be performed on a central air conditioning unit?

In general, before retiring your air conditioner for the winter, you'll want to perform a cleaning to ensure you've removed all leaves and other debris from the interior and around the exterior of the unit. After disconnecting the air conditioner from power, use a screwdriver to remove the fan cover so that you'll be able to access the inside of the unit and remove any remaining litter. Having a clean unit before winter hits is key when it comes to preventing damage in the spring and summer.

During this cleaning, you'll want to carefully survey a number of your air conditioner's parts -- from the electrical cords traveling to the power supply to the fan blades and other visible elements. Frayed cords, exposed wires, or bent fan blades can all indicate issues that should be corrected before you attempt to operate your air conditioner again, while pooled water under the compressor unit could indicate a leak somewhere in the system.

You'll also want to cover your air conditioning unit with a custom-fitted tarp or canvas once you've finished the cleaning and inspection Doing so can prevent your unit from taking on debris during the winter and will shield it from the elements.

What should you do if you notice problems with your air conditioner during the winter?

If you notice visible issues or know that your a/c unit has taken a beating over the winter (for example, being pummeled with melting ice or falling icicles as it sits below a tree), it may be worthwhile to call in an a/c repair company just to give your unit a quick once-over and solve any issues that may have already developed. Because air conditioning repair isn't generally a booming business during the colder months, it's usually much easier to get an appointment, and you won't find yourself paying high emergency rates that can be common for summer repairs.