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HVAC Maintenance Tips—How to Winterize Your AC Unit

With summer good and gone, the yards covered in leaves, and a few snow flurries already rolling through the area, it’s safe to say the hot days spent in the AC are long gone. This means it’s time to prepare your home and HVAC system for the cold months ahead. To help you in this process, your go-to HVAC contractors at Comfort By Nature would like to share with you a simple checklist of some things you can do to prolong the life of your unit and protect it from winter’s harsh elements.

Below are five things you can do to winterize your AC unit.

Cut Off Exterior Power

Now that you know your central air conditioning unit is going to be out of commission for the next several months, you can turn off its power, so long as it has an exterior circuit that controls the power that runs to the unit. To do this, open the box—likely fasted to the house or somewhere near the unit—locate the circuit, pull it out, flip it upside down, reinsert it into its slot, and then seal up the box.

By doing this you can alleviate any risk of electrocution while cleaning it out, and it will ensure that it does not get accidentally flipped on during the winter. If you were to inadvertently turn it on, the water that runs through it to create cool air would be exposed to freezing temperatures, which could potentially cause significant damage to your condensing unit.

Clean AC

If the unit is outside your home and easy to reach, take the time to clean it. This includes removing any debris, like leaves, twigs, and grass that has collected. After the big stuff has been removed, use a water hose to spray away any dirt, dust, and bugs. If possible, opt for a high-pressure hose with the ability to thoroughly clean fan blades, condensing coils, and other essential parts. Be sure to pick a warm day to do this. Don’t do it on the evening before one of those freezing fall nights.

Also, while cleaning, take notice of any exterior issues, like cracks, rust, or open crevices that should be sealed. If you find any potential problems, call your local HVAC company to come address the issue.

Change Air Filter

Inside your home, there will be an air filter that helps keep your unit pumping out fresh, clean air. Most HVAC contractors recommend replacing the air filter every 3-4 months. This time could be even shorter if you live in an area that gets a lot of wind or if there is a construction project taking place nearby. When you change your filter, you help prevent it from becoming clogged—an occurrence that would require your HVAC system to work harder to properly circulate air throughout your home.

Cover It Up

If your unit did not come with a cover or you have yet to make the investment of purchasing one, consider buying a covering to protect it. A cover will prolong your AC’s life as well as enhance its resistance to the harsh elements of winter.

It is important to note that some people don’t suggest covering your AC unit because they believe that this can cause moisture to become trapped underneath, leading to the development of mold and mildew. To avoid this, allow it to thoroughly dry before covering it, and when covered leave about a foot of coil exposed so that air can circulate during the winter.


After completing these steps, your AC unit should be sufficiently winterized, and you can then move on to preparing your heater for the upcoming cold months. If you need help with any of these winterizing tips or want peace of mind in knowing that your HVAC check-up was completed by a professional, don’t hesitate to contact your trusted Greeley HVAC contractors. Call us today to schedule your appointment.