Now that we can expect single digit temperatures in our future, the time for air conditioning has passed — at least, until next summer, that is. As the autumn chill starts to settle over the city, Toronto as a whole will start turning on their furnaces so they’re prepared for when the mercury truly dips to zero and below. But before you do that, we suggest you power down your outside A/C unit properly and prepare it for the upcoming winter. It’s an important part of your maintenance plan that ensures the machine’s efficient and long-lasting life.
As with most of our advice we give, today’s top tips will include cleaning your air conditioner of the past season’s dirt and debris. Cleaning is always an easy task any homeowner, regardless of handiness or home repair know-how, can perform. It’s also a very important job, and one that you should do regularly throughout the year in order to maximize the A/C’s efficiency. We understand, no matter how significant this step is, it can be pretty thankless. Most people don’t enjoy cleaning, but we’ve got good news. The steps we outline below shouldn’t take you any longer than 30 minutes.
Start by turning off the electrical power at the outdoor shutoff. As you approach your outside unit, you’ll notice there may be a collection of dirt, leaves, and sticks around the machine. You’ll need to remove any debris that may have accumulated over the summer. Once you’ve cleaned up the surrounding area, you can move onto the coils and lid covering the unit. Depending on the make and model of your A/C, you may have to remove the side and top panels to access coils. With your garden hose, spray off any dirt, dead bugs, or bird droppings that have hardened in these coils, using a soft appliance brush to remove any stubborn debris.
Once you’ve cleaned away any stains, leave the unit to dry. During that time, inspect the exposed pipes running from the machine to your home. You can buy foam pipe insulation from your local hardware store that will cover these lines and protect them from freezing temperatures. By the time you’ve completed this step, your appliance will be dry enough to move onto the next step.
Place a piece of plywood cut to match the dimensions of the air conditioner on the top of the appliance, using a large stone or brick heavy enough to weigh it down. This will ensure the wood doesn’t rattle or blow away (and cause property damage) during a wind storm. Next up, drape a plastic or vinyl cover over the A/C unit, securing it with bungee cords tight enough that it won’t blow away in any storm.
If you are hesitant to or physically cannot perform these tasks, give one of our technicians a call. They’ll make short work of winterizing your A/C. Regardless of your skill in the yard, it’s always a good idea to schedule an end-of-season visit with one of our air conditioner repair technicians. During this appointment, they can inspect your appliance after a long summer of continuous use and assess its internal machinations. Our air con professionals will be able to locate any problems with the unit, completing essential upkeep that could prevent poor performance and larger, more expensive repairs in the future.
Give us a call to have one of our crew out to your home this fall. We recommend scheduling an A/C inspection with a furnace check-up so you can get your home ready for the upcoming winter as quickly as possible, with as little demand on your free time as possible, leaving you free to enjoy fall without any worries. So pick up the phone. We look forward to speaking with you soon.