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How to Winterize Your AC System

Is your air conditioning system ready for the winter season? December 21st marks the end of fall and the beginning of winter. During this time of year, of course, you probably use your air conditioning system frequently. Most homeowners in Georgia rarely or never use their air conditioning system during the winter. By winterizing your air conditioning system, however, you can preserve its functionality and performance until the warm weather rolls around next year.

Clean Around the Condenser Unit

To winterize your air conditioning system, you should clean around the condenser unit. The condenser unit is a large box that houses your air conditioning system’s condenser coil, condenser fan and compressor. Unlike the evaporator coil, it’s installed outdoors. You can typically find the condenser unit around the side of your home.

Because it’s installed outdoor, the condenser unit is susceptible to debris. Leaves, pine straw, branches and other debris may work its way inside of the condenser unit. Normally, the condenser fan will blow out debris so that doesn’t accumulate inside of the condenser unit. During the winter, of course, you probably won’t run your air conditioning system, so the condenser fan will remain off. Therefore, it’s a good idea to clean around the condenser unit to prepare your air conditioning system for winter.

Cover the Condenser Unit

After cleaning around it, you may want to cover the condenser unit. When left uncovered, rain and moisture will settle inside of the condenser unit. And without the condenser fan running, it will create a breeding ground for mildew. Covering the condenser unit will ensure that it stays dry.

There are waterproof covers that you can purchase for the condenser unit. They are typically made of plastic or polypropylene, and they are designed to fit most standard-sized condenser units. You can place a cover over the top of your air conditioning system’s condenser unit to keep it dry.

Check the Air Filter

You should check the air filter when winterizing your air conditioning system. After running your air conditioning system for the entire cooling season, the air filter may need to be replaced. All air filters work by capturing debris particles from the air. Over time, they’ll accumulate so much debris that it restricts the flow of air.

The air filter is located in the Air Handling Unit (AHU) or furnace of your air conditioning system. Pull the air filter out of its housing to determine whether it needs changing. If it has a visible buildup of dust and debris, you should replace it.