We talk all about air conditioners in the spring and summer, but what do we do with them in the winter? Although air conditioners are built to withstand freezing temperatures and crazy weather, you still need to protect the unit from extreme elements, like snow and freezing temperatures. These conditions can cause serious damage to your outdoor units in the form of corrosion, rust, and breakage. So what are the best ways to keep your AC safe in the winter?

Air conditioner and Snow

Are Air Conditioner Covers Recommended?

Air conditioner covers are advertised to protect your outdoor units all season long. But believe it or not, plastic/canvas covers are NOT recommended for long-term use. The trapped moisture inside the cover is what causes damage to the air conditioner. The rust and corrosion are detrimental to the function and lifespan of the unit. A covered air conditioner can also be  to critters and other wildlife, who also cause more damage. If you’re going to cover the air conditioner with one of these covers, only cover it before a heavy snowstorm. But don’t forget to remove it immediately after.

What Can You Do?

The outdoor air conditioner coil can handle a little bit of ice, but the excess buildup can damage it. Brush off your air conditioner free from snow after a heavy snowfall. Also, keep a 1 foot radius around your AC clear too (3 feet if you have a heat pump). These systems pull heat from the air around them, which is why airflow is so crucial.

Even if you do absolutely everything right to keep your AC safe in the winter, you won’t know if your air conditioner is damaged until winter is long gone and you want to start up the AC. Get your air conditioner cleaned and serviced before initial startup in the spring to ensure that there is no damage from winter. A reputable HVAC company will do a clean and service on the air conditioner to ensure its function and efficiency. So call a company like Poormans Heating & Air when the time comes.