Sun City, Arizona, is known for its sweltering summers. Temperatures can over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The winter months can be cold. Temperatures may drop to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have an air conditioner with a condenser unit that sits outside, you may be worried about keeping it protected during the winter months. Here are some things to consider when determining whether you need to winterize your AC unit in Sun City, Arizona.
Do I Need to Winterize My AC Unit?
It is understandable that you might be concerned about your air conditioner’s condenser sitting outside during the winter. However, there is no reason to get overly alarmed.
Air conditioners have been built to handle harsh winter weather. Your condenser does a great job toughing out the cold weather. There are people who live in states like Minnesota and Wisconsin where temperatures can drop well below zero and their air conditioners are able to survive through the winter.
In Sun City, Arizona, where temperatures rarely drop below freezing, your condenser unit will be able to withstand most of what Mother Nature puts it through during the winter. That being said, you still do want to take steps to look after your air conditioner during the winter.
Preparing Your Air Conditioner for the Winter
There are several things that you can do to prepare your AC unit for the winter months. While the steps might be able to extend the lifespan of your AC unit, there is no replacement for having professionals do a biannual check and maintenance. In addition to preparing your unit for the winter, remember to contact HVAC specialists to review your system in the spring, which is typically before you start your AC system for the first time.
As you go through these winterization tips for your AC system, make sure that you disconnect the power at the electrical breaker or from the outdoor disconnect. Don’t try to repair your AC system on your own. This is dangerous and can void the warranties you have on your unit. If you need major repairs done, contact [company_name]. We can help.
Do You Have an AC Unit or a Heat Pump?
First, check and see if you have an AC unit connected to your home’s central ventilation or if you are using a heat pump that you will also rely on to keep the home warm during the winter. If it is a heat pump, don’t turn it off. Don’t cover it. You can tell what you have by looking at the model numbers. If you see HP and the numbers, you have a heat pump. If you are unsure, jot down the number. Give us a call so that we can help.
Clean Your Gutters
If you have gutters that are sitting right above your AC unit and they have a leak, this constant leaking could damage your AC over the rainy winter season. Your HVAC professional can help you address any issues with attic air insulation or air leaks that could cause additional issues for your AC unit.
Power off Your AC
If you will not be using your air conditioner during the winter months and will be using your heater, make sure to power off your AC unit. You will probably have a dedicated circuit that you can power off at the circuit breaker. If not, you may see a small disconnect panel by your outdoor AC unit. Switch the position to off. When the weather starts to get warm again, normally during the spring, you can turn the power back on. You should wait 24 hours before starting up the AC unit.
Give the Unit Space to Breathe
It could seem tempting to completely block off your AC unit. However, it is recommended that you leave about three feet clearance around the unit. This keeps your unit safe and prevents it from getting clogged up with dirt. You also want to leave space for your HVAC technician to come and review the unit in the spring. Keep storage, such as garbage cans, paint buckets, and water hoses, in a different area. Also, clean up any plants, shrubs, or bushes that have grown around the unit.
Only Cover the Top Part of the Condenser
Manufacturers warn against covering the entire condenser unit. If you cover the entire unit, animals looking for a warm place to live during the winter might find shelter in your condenser unit. Completely covering the unit can lead to moisture problems and mold. However, you should cover the top part of the outdoor unit.
You may want to build a little roof awning that sits a couple of feet above the unit to protect the system year-round. Or you may just put a piece of plywood and bricks over the top of the unit. Covering the unit during the winter keeps it safe from inclement weather and objects that might damage your unit.
Before you turn the unit back on, make sure that there is nothing covering the top of your AC unit. Set a reminder for yourself to remember to remove any AC covers before you first turn the unit on.
Clean the Unit
Use a hose to get rid of any dirt or debris that has built up on the outside. Before doing that, ensure that the unit has been powered off. Don’t power blast the unit with water. Instead, use gentle running water to clean the unit without bending or damaging the condenser blades. You can use an anti-corrosion spring to further protect the unit from any wind, rain, or the occasional snowfall.
Foam Pipe Covers
This is something that usually is done in colder climates. However, since there have been unusual weather fluctuations, using foam pipe covers is an inexpensive way to protect any exterior pipes. This helps insulate the pipes in the unlikely event that temperatures plummet to below freezing. Simply hold the foam cover is in place and use duct tape to wrap to attach it. To make things simpler, you can use zip ties.
Relax and Enjoy the Benefits of Your Hard Work
It can take a few hours each year to winterize your AC unit. But once it is done, you can sit back and relax knowing that what you are doing may extend the life of your unit. Of course, proper AC care and maintenance do not stop there.
At [company_name], we are your air conditioning, heating, and plumbing specialists. We have been providing the locals of Sun City, AZ, quality plumbing, heating, and cooling services. Our services include furnace repair, heat pump installation, AC repair, drain cleaning, and sewer and gas line repair.
Our number one priority is our customers. Contact us today to learn more about us or to schedule maintenance or repairs. We look forward to building a trusting relationship with you.