If you haven’t noticed the changing leaves, SEC Football, Uggs, and pumpkin spice in plentiful amounts, it’s fall in Knoxville, TN again, which means, that it’s time for homeowners to winterize your HVAC system. Winterizing your outdoor or central air conditioning unit is an important step in preventing rust damage from snow and ice or from wild critters nesting in your equipment when the temperature drops. Luckily, winterizing your HVAC unit is a relatively quick and painless process that will keep your air conditioner running efficiently next season. Here’s how you can winterize your HVAC system and safeguard this important piece of mechanical equipment.

Shut Off AC Power

When the last day of running your air-conditioning occurs, you first want to turn off the power to your AC unit. This will prevent it from kicking on if the weather becomes unusually warm. Shutting off the power will ensure that no additional water gets into the lines of your air-conditioning unit which could potentially freeze once the temperature drops again. The majority of outdoor AC units have a metal box close to the unit with a power switch that you can simply set to the “OFF” position.

Clean Your Outdoor Unit

Inside the large metal HVAC cabinet that is located outside of your home is your condenser and compressor which can be subject to rodent damage and rust from moisture. In order to keep them safe from the elements, it’s important to keep it clean and dry. After stopping the flow of electricity to your AC unit, clean your outdoor unit by removing debris such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, or mulch. Afterward, you can use a standard garden hose or low-pressure pressure washer to rinse clean of bugs, dirt, and the like. Allow your unit to dry completely.

 Insulate Exposed Pipes

Your AC unit will enviably have several supply pipes leading into the house from the unit. Use tubular foam that can be obtained from any hardware store to cover these pipes and keep them insulated from extreme cold to help prevent your pipes from freezing. You’ll need cut the foam to size, but ensure you procure the right size for the diameter of your pipes for a snug, tight fit. You can also use duct tape to secure the foam insulation from being blown off in high winds.

Cover the Unit

If you have a waterproof air conditioner cover, now is the time to dust it off and place it on your outdoor air conditioner. If you do not have an AC cover, you can create your own using a large contractor trash bag, secured with bungee cords or vinyl tie-downs. Some homeowners have even used plastic tarp and bricks. If you do proceed on the DIY route, ensure that the cover won’t blow off in high winds that can occur during winter storms.

Winterize Your AC and Save

By ensuring your AC unit is winterized, you’ll be saving money in the long run by safeguarding one of your home’s more expensive and highly tuned fixtures. Just before winterizing your home is also a superb time to have a certified HVAC technician do a seasonal maintenance check. We can not only help with standard maintenance, but also ensure that your HVAC system is ready to produce comfortable heat during the colder winter months. Contact City Heat and Air online or by calling 865-938-1005 today to set up your fall maintenance visit before it’s too late.