Preparing an air conditioner (AC) for the off-season is essential to ensure its longevity, energy efficiency, and optimal performance when it’s needed again. Proper maintenance during the off-season can prevent issues like rust, dust buildup, and refrigerant leaks. Here’s a comprehensive guide that we at Absolute P&M Services would like to share to help you prepare your AC for the off-season.
What to Do Before Turning on AC Off for Winter?
Clean & Clear Around Condenser – Start by turning off the power supply to the AC unit. Remove any debris, leaves, or branches from the outdoor unit. Trim any nearby vegetation to ensure proper airflow. Clean the condenser coils using a gentle stream of water or a soft brush. Dirty coils can reduce efficiency.
Interior Inspection – Check the indoor components as well. Replace or clean the air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. A clogged filter can hinder airflow and strain the system. If you have a washable filter, wash it thoroughly, let it dry, and then reinstall it.
Check for AC Leaks – Inspect the refrigerant lines for any signs of leaks. If you notice oil stains or damage, contact a professional HVAC technician to address the issue. Refrigerant leaks can harm the environment and affect your AC’s efficiency.
Seal Gaps – Check for gaps or openings around doors, windows, and any openings where the AC connects to the house. Seal these gaps properly to prevent warm air from entering the house during the off-season.
Thermostat Settings – Adjust your thermostat settings to a temperature that conserves energy while preventing excessive humidity buildup. A setting around 85°F (29°C) is generally recommended for the off-season.
Unplug or Disconnect AC – If your AC unit has a dedicated electrical circuit, consider disconnecting or turning off the circuit breaker to prevent accidental operation during the off-season. This can save energy and prevent wear and tear.
Cover the AC Unit – While not all experts agree on covering the outdoor unit, a breathable cover can protect it from debris and moisture. However, make sure the cover is specifically designed for AC units and allows for proper ventilation to prevent condensation buildup.
Regular Maintenance Schedule – Use the off-season as a reminder to set up a regular maintenance schedule. Schedule professional servicing before the next cooling season. A qualified technician can inspect, clean, and lubricate components, ensuring the AC is in prime condition.
Inspect Ductwork – If you have a central AC system, consider having your ductwork inspected and sealed if necessary. Well-sealed ducts can improve efficiency and indoor air quality.
Check for Pests – Inspect the unit and surrounding area for signs of pests or rodents. Critters can nest in AC units during the off-season, causing damage and affecting performance.
Regularly Start the AC Unit – Occasionally run your AC unit for a short period during the off-season. This prevents the compressor and other components from seizing up due to lack of use.
Central Air Conditioner & Heater Maintenance, Repairs, Replacement & More in Santa Fe, Tomball, Sugar Land, Galveston, Austin & Greater Houston, Texas
You’ll ensure that your air conditioning system remains in good condition during the off-season and is ready to provide efficient cooling once the warmer weather returns by following these steps. Regular maintenance and care can extend the lifespan of your AC unit and save you money in the long run. If you’re unsure about any specific steps, consider consulting a professional HVAC technician for guidance. Call Absolute P&M Services when you need AC repairs, maintenance, installation, and replacement services.