Your air conditioner condenser has to spend all of its time outside, even in the middle of the winter. To make sure it survives the cold, harsh months intact, it's essential that you take the time to prepare it properly for winter. Follow these dos and don'ts when winterizing your air conditioning condenser, and you'll be on the right track.
Don't: Clean your unit before covering it.
When fall comes, makes sure you use a leaf blower to blow all debris off of and out of your unit before you start covering it for fall. Just aim the blower at the unit, and keep blowing until you see no more traces of leaves or debris inside. If you leave leaves trapped in the air conditioning condenser, they could contribute to rusting over the winter. Wait for a dry day to cover your unit, so you don't trap too much moisture under your cover.
Do: Invest in the winter cover made for your unit.
Most companies that make air conditioners will manufacture winter covers designed especially for their units. You can often call the company and order directly, though your HVAC specialist may be able to offer you a cover at a discounted price if you recently purchased the AC unit from them. Put this cover on as soon as the temperature starts to drop and your air conditioner is no longer needed. This will protect it from the wind and rain, and then eventually the snow.
Don't: Create your own make-shift cover.
If the cover you use for your air conditioner does not breathe properly, it could end up trapping moisture on your condenser, leading to premature rusting. Thus, you should never create your own cover out of a tarp or other materials. Don't use a cover made for a different brand or model of unit, either, as the ventilation material may be located in the wrong spot for your unit.
Do: Put some boards on top of the unit.
After you put the cover on your unit, put a few boards on top, and weigh them down with a cinder block or heavy stone. This will prevent the cover from being caught in a heavy wind and pulled off of your unit. It is safe to put the boards on top, since they will only block the fan of the condenser. The unit can still breathe through the fins on its sides.
As long as you follow the tips above, your air conditioning condenser should be properly prepared for the winter ahead. Contact your HVAC specialist, such as Action Appliance Services, if you have any questions about winterizing your unit.