Freezing temperatures can cause damage to your air conditioning system in the winter. Exposed pipes can freeze and burst, resulting in costly repairs when the weather warms back up. Ice, snow and debris can build up on your AC unit, potentially damaging the casing or parts inside. While Texas winters are mild compared to other parts of the country, they are not predictable. Protect yourself from the hassle and costs of repairs come this spring by following this guide to AC Maintenance from Barker’s Heating and Cooling.
Shut it down
As winter temperatures draw near, it is time to turn off power to your air conditioning unit. The circuit is mounted near the unit on the side of your house. Turn it to the ‘off’ position before you do anything to the unit itself. This keeps you safe from electrocution as you go about conducting your winter A/C maintenance. Turning off the air conditioner also ensures it does not turn on if the temperatures rise for a day or two. It also stops any water from freezing and damaging the condensing unit.
Clean the unit
Remove any dry leaves and debris from around the unit. Cut back, pull out or dig up any plants or vines that have grown around or into the unit. Air should circulate freely around your air conditioner without being impeded by vegetation. If you are confident, clean the coil fins under the metal guards, being mindful of the delicate metal. This is a necessary step in A/C maintenance, so contact a professional if DIY maintenance does not interest you.
Inspect the unit
After you’ve cleaned the unit, turn the power back on momentarily and take a good look at the unit while it’s running. Check the casing for any cracks or rust. Ensure there are no leaks or cracked seals in the condenser or pipes. Watch the fan and make sure it is balanced and not making excessive noise. If there is damage to your unit, schedule an AC repair now while the weather is cool. Texas summers are brutal and you don’t want to suffer as you wait. Contact us to schedule air conditioning maintenance or A/C repair in College Station.
Cover the unit
While freezing temperatures are rare in College Station and the Brazos Valley in general, they are not unheard of. Ice, sleet and snow can build up on your A/C unit and put undue weight on the casing. Barring that, an errant icicle could fall from the roof and damage the unit. To avoid potential costly repairs, put an air conditioner cover in place. A piece of plywood on top of the shutdown unit is sufficient to protect it from the mild Texas winter weather.
Insulate the unit
Wrap exposed pipes with foam insulation and duct tape them in place. This step is especially important for the pipes that lead into your home. Freezing temperatures can cause the fluid in these pipes to freeze and expand, which could cause the pipes to crack or burst. If your pipes are rusted, leaking or damaged, contact us for air conditioner maintenance.
Check it once a week
Make sure to keep an eye on your air conditioning unit once a week to ensure it is still properly covered. Sweep away any water, ice or debris that has built up on the top. Also, rake or sweep fallen debris and leaves off of and from around the unit. Keep in mind that A/C tune ups and maintenance aren’t just for the peak of summer.
Contact Barker’s Heating and Cooling
Many College Station residents can take care of basic air conditioning maintenance, like the steps above, on their own. Beyond regular cleaning, changing air filters and protecting your unit from winter’s force, you may need professional help. If you require more thorough A/C maintenance, trust Barker’s Heating and A/C–one of the best HVAC contractors in College Station.