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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Dalton’s Guide to Winterize Your HVAC System

Ice on an outdoor air conditioner unit.

Winter is fast approaching, but is your HVAC system ready for it? Winterization helps you protect yourself against high energy bills and protect your physical HVAC unit from ice and melting snow.

It’s time for HVAC maintenance in Cedar Rapids, IA before winterizing your home. Tune up your unit, protect it, and use these winterization tips to protect it until it’s ready to use when spring rolls around.

Start by Cleaning Your Outdoor Unit

Your outdoor cabinet needs to be hosed down. Remove debris, dust, and any potential critters who may be trying to call it home and give it time to dry before you cover it up. It’s not uncommon for animals to seek refuge from the cold in inactive HVAC cabinets, which can lead to them wreaking havoc on your ductwork if they’re able to get inside.

Add a Cover to it

You can purchase a physical cover that’s designed for your HVAC cabinet. This helps protect it from snow, ice, and anything weaseling its way into the crevices of your cabinet. Once the cover is on, there’s one more measure you can take.

Cut a piece of plywood to hang over by 1” on each side, and place it on top of your unit outside of the cover. This helps prevent snow from accumulating on top of the cover, which can melt and seep into any imperfections on top of the cover itself. It’s an extra measure that isn’t required but does help.

As an added note, you should pull off the cover every 3-4 weeks and quickly inspect your unit. We want to keep ice and snow out, but sometimes moisture can still find its way in and cause corrosion. It’s best to be on top of that.

Actively Remove Ice and Snow Throughout the Winter

It’s covered, but that doesn’t mean you should just set it and forget it. When snow piles on top, go outside and shovel it off. Try to remove any snow from around the unit, and break off icicles that may be hanging nearby. Treat it like your driveway and clear all of that powder out.

Shut Off Power to the Unit

You won’t be using it for the winter, so let’s avoid accidentally turning it on during the first warm-ish day of the year. With plywood on top and a cover wrapped around it, you don’t want your air conditioner to suddenly kick on.

Turn off power to the unit by using the outdoor breaker switch (not your indoor circuit breaker). This ensures that you won’t run into an accidental power cycle when you’re least expecting it.

Maintain Your HVAC System Before Winter

Winterizing your system is important, but before you do that, make sure it’s properly maintained. Extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. With annual maintenance, you’ll be ready to turn on the air conditioning when summer hits without worrying about a thing.

Contact Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. today to begin your HVAC maintenance plan and keep your comfort system operational all year.

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