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Summer is over and winter is coming.  It’s time to give that air conditioning unit that has kept you cool the maintenance it needs before it settles down for a long winter’s rest.  You want to make sure that any potential problems are fixed to avoid more expensive repairs in the future.  Your unit needs to be protected from the winter weather that is sure to come.

• Check cabinet panels of rooftop units.  This is one check you want to do while the air conditioning is running.  If you feel cool air escaping, it’s time to have a professional inspection by a trained air conditioning technician.  Waiting until next summer may mean big repair bills so don’t wait.  Make sure that all screws and gaskets are in place and tight.  The last thing you want is to have your air conditioner damaged because a panel comes off during a winter storm.

• Turn off exterior power to the unit.  Turning off the power to the unit will make your inspection and cleaning safe.  You don’t want to accidentally turn on your air conditioner during the winter as freezing temperatures can do real damage if the unit runs in the cold.

• Do a thorough, visual inspection of the unit.  Take a long hard look.  Make sure there isn’t any rust.  Check for cracks and broken seals.  Inspect the fan blades for corrosion or excessive wear.  Be aware of leaks, drips or condensation.  You don’t want mildew forming between now and when the A/C is turned back on and you certainly don’t want water left in a line where it might freeze and cause a break.  If you see a potential problem or spot damage, consider calling an air conditioning maintenance company.  As a general rule, problems with an A/C only get bigger and more expensive if they aren’t addressed as quickly as possible.

• Clean the unit and the area around it.  Those falling leaves aren’t something your air conditioner enjoys.  Clean off any leaves that have fallen into the unit.  Cut back branches that overhang the unit to avoid them falling on it during a winter storm or when there’s an accumulation of ice and snow. Clean the coils gently, but thoroughly, with warm water.

• Cover your air conditioning unit.  You can buy inexpensive covers at the big box home improvement stores.  If you air conditioning is located where snow or ice from the roof might wall on it, put plywood on top of the cover to protect the unit.  You’re done for now, but don’t forget to check your air conditioner periodically throughout the winter to make sure that the cover is secure and to remove any accumulated ice and snow.

If you have concerns about the condition of your air conditioning unit, call an Ace Home Services Contractor to inspect and winterize the air conditioner for you.  It’s much better to be safe than sorry and to pay a little now to avoid a costly repair later.  Your air conditioner has worked hard for you all summer so make sure it gets the care it needs for the winter ahead.