Winter Prep: Air Conditioning in Missoula Residences

Whether you are a new homeowner or looking for a refresher on what to do to prepare your air conditioning unit for winter, we have you covered.  Here are 6 steps to take as outdoor temperatures cool and the leaves start to fall.

1.      Turn Off the Power on Your Missoula Residential Air Conditioning

You can cut the power to your air conditioning unit either outside the unit or from your circuit breaker in your home.  Some people recommend both, but this may not be a viable option in your home.  Usually, there will be a single or double circuit dedicated just to the air conditioning unit.  However, if there is anything else tied into that circuit that you will need to use during the winter months, this will not work.  Start with your outdoor AC unit: find the power switch and flip it to “off.” Then go inside to your circuit breaker box and switch the circuit labeled for your air conditioning unit to “off.”  By turning them both off, you will ensure that the unit will not kick on during any warm winter days and prevent a slow drain of electricity during the months it should not be running.

2.      Clean Outdoor Unit of Your Missoula Residential Air Conditioning System

As your outdoor AC Unit was open to the elements all summer, it collected a fair amount of debris.  Double-check to ensure you have cut off power to the unit before this step.  You can use a hose to spray away large pieces like grass clippings, acorns, or leaves.  Small animals may have found a seasonal home in your AC Unit.  Once you have cleared the debris, you can use a condenser coil cleaner on the coils to ensure your unit will be efficient next summer.

3.      Have Missoula Residential Air Conditioning Serviced and Repaired By HVAC Contractors

Now that you have turned off the power to the unit and cleared debris, it is a great time for yearly maintenance. Contact your favorite Missoula HVAC Contractor to schedule a maintenance visit.  They will check for refrigerant leaks and worn-out components and ensure all needed repairs are complete so you will be ready to turn on your AC when summer comes around.

4.      Cover Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit at Your Missoula Residence

You should cover your AC Unit to protect it from the elements through the winter.  While this topic is debated, it is a good practice in cold winter climates like Montana’s.  The main concern when covering your AC unit is moisture buildup, so be sure to keep airflow in mind when winterizing your AC unit.

You have three options when covering your AC unit.  The first is to have a structural overhang of some sort. This could mean placing your AC unit under a deck or porch or building something similar to a small gazebo to protect your Missoula residential air conditioning unit.  IF you take this route, be sure to have a few feet of space around the unit on all sides, including the top, for airflow. Secondly, you could use a waterproof air conditioning cover specifically designed for your AC unit. If you take this route, use a bungee strap to secure it during wind and storms.  Be sure to keep airflow in mind when placing the bag on.  Thirdly, you could use a piece of plywood on the top of your outdoor AC unit, placing a brick or rock on top to prevent it from blowing or falling off.  Ensure about a foot overhang on all sides if you choose this option.

5.      Check On Your Missoula Residential Air Conditioning Unit Throughout The Winter

It is a good idea to check on your outdoor air conditioning unit every 3 to 4 weeks or after any large storms throughout the winter. Ensure the cover is secure, and remove any foliage or debris from around the unit. 

Contact Missoula Residential Air Conditioning HVAC Technician Today!

If you have any questions or are ready to schedule your yearly inspection of your air conditioning unit, go ahead and call Garden City Plumbing and HVAC at (406)728-5550 or contact us online before winter arrives in full force!