When the forecast calls for freezing temperatures and snow, we get a lot of homeowners in the Indianapolis area wondering if they need to winterize their outdoor AC units. The quick answer is this: You really don’t.
Top 3 Myths for AC Winterization
Most people think they need to winterize their AC unit, but you’re actually better off just doing a quick check around their unit. Remove those piles of leaves, check for any obvious damage, and you’re pretty much good to go until spring.
Tip 1: It’s okay to leave the AC power on.
There are lots of AC winterization tips online that talk about turning the unit’s power off. Usually this isn’t even necessary. You might want to take this step if you already know how to disconnect the power—but don’t worry about it if you’re unsure. The only thing it does is keep your unit from kicking on during those unexpected warm days in winter. For the average homeowner, it’s totally fine to keep the AC power on in winter.
Tip 2: You don’t have to clear the snow around your AC unit.
Sometimes cleaning up your AC unit’s area is more trouble than it’s worth. Too many well-meaning homeowners have actually damaged their unit while trying to protect it. This tends to happen when clearing off snow or ice with a shovel, which can accidentally break wires. The same thing happens when weedeaters get too close to the AC unit in the warmer months.
Of course, it’s important to take this winterization tip with a grain of salt. You obviously don’t want a bush growing right into your AC unit. If plants are crowding your unit, take care when you trim them back. Clearing leaves and smaller twigs is also a smart move. Winter winds can blow them into your unit, and the freezing temperatures, snow, and slush can end up trapping the debris. You want to make sure your unit is free from any materials when you turn it back on in the spring. A quick sweep around the AC unit should be all you need before the big snowfalls hit.
Tip 3: There’s no reason to have an AC cover—unless you like the look.
Using a cover for your AC unit isn’t necessary for winterization, but some people still prefer to use it. At LCS, we’re happy to install covers for customers who request them. Some people just like how the cover looks. Others like to use covers because they help keep leaves and debris out. Just note: Heat pumps should never be covered. Because those types of units work year-round, homes with heat pumps usually keep them running throughout the colder months.
What’s more important is that you just check all around your unit to make sure you don’t see any visible damage. Any cracks and breaks in the unit can worsen when temperatures drop. Fixing those issues now can help ensure that your unit will be in good working order when you’re ready to use it again. That way, you’ll be all set for every season!
If you happen to need any HVAC repairs in the Indianapolis area, the LCS Heating & Cooling experts are here to help! Just call (317) 238-3961 for year-round assistance on all your HVAC repairs, installs, and questions.