Once the weather turns colder, your priority probably shifts from keeping your house cool to kicking on the heat to warm it up inside. As a result, you may be focused on getting the heater ready and forget about the central A/C unit sitting outside, thinking that you simply need to switch the thermostat to the heat setting. However, the unit needs to be prepared for the winter weather, and if you make the following mistakes, those mistakes could cause damage to your air conditioner.
1. Forgetting to Turn the Power Off to the Air Conditioner
One mistake that you should avoid making is forgetting to turn the power off to the air conditioner. You may believe that simply switching the A/C off at the thermostat is enough. However, this does not turn the power off to the unit. It simply switches modes. If you forget to turn off the power switch on the unit and even flip off the breaker feeding the air conditioner, there is always a chance that you may inadvertently switch the mode back to A/C on the thermostat and turn it on. If you do this while the air conditioner has ice inside of it, there is a chance that the fan may break or the motor may burn up.
2. Neglecting to Cover the Top of the Unit
Another mistake that you should not make when shutting down your central A/C unit is neglecting to cover the top of the unit to protect it from frigid temperatures, snow, and ice. Since the top is where the condenser and fan are located, it should not be left exposed to the elements that could damage these parts. However, this does not mean to cover the entire unit, as doing so will cause condensation underneath the cover and contribute to mold and mildew growth.
Instead, only cover the top portion of the air conditioner. You can do this by laying a piece of thick plastic over the top and allowing the ends to hang down loosely. Then, lay a piece of plywood on top to keep the plastic in place and add an extra layer of protection.
Along with avoiding the above mistakes, you should also consider having your unit fully cleaned and maintenance performed on it before winter weather starts. Contact an AC service that provides such options to schedule a time for them to come to your house and take care of your central air conditioning unit.