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Do you need to winterize your air conditioner

With the chill air of autumn blowing in, the first signs of the much colder winter season are already starting to make themselves known. Naturally, the onset of colder temperatures brings on the thought of how best to make sure homes are ready to withstand chilly outdoor temperatures, making sure temperatures instead stay warm and comfortable year-round. While preparing windows and checking seals on the doors, some homeowners will begin to wonder whether it is worthwhile to winterize the outdoor air conditioner as well. This can be a tempting idea, but before throwing a cover over the A/C unit outside, take a look at how this could cause more harm than good.

What is Winterizing?

Winterizing in general is any activity taken with the express purpose of providing protection against the environmental aspects of winter. Specifically for A/C units, this means putting a covering over the unit, with the intent of protecting the unit from ice, snow, animals, and other potential debris. As the name implies, this activity is only undertaken in colder months, and the cover is removed once the ground thaws and warmer temperatures return. 

The Potential Problems of Winterizing the A/C

Choosing to winterize a home’s outdoor air conditioner is actually unnecessary, as the unit is designed with the ability to stand up to harsh environmental shifts — such as temperature changes, or rain and snow. Snow can build up around the unit, which should be cleared away, and it’s advisable to keep the top of the unit clear of snow, ice, and debris, but the actual unit itself is able to withstand the cold without developing rust or taking on damage. 

By putting a cover over the unit, the potential for trapping moisture close to the unit rises. With trapped moisture so close, the unit is actually more likely to take on an icy build-up, as well as grow and retain mold. This then creates a much more serious health issue for the air quality circulating throughout a home. 

Another argued use for a winterized cover is that it blocks out pests such as rodents. Incidentally, putting a cover over the outdoor unit creates the ideal warm spot for critters and pests to crawl into and create nests away from direct exposure to the winter temperatures. 

Overall, the potential protections created by a winterized cover end up creating much more serious drawbacks, introducing greater potential to harm the unit than help it. If you are worried about your A/C unit being able to stand up to the forces of winter, or if you’re noticing issues like premature icing around the unit, consider reaching out to the licensed technicians at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With over 30 years of expertise to draw on, the experts at Duane Blanton will be able to inspect your home’s A/C and provide knowledgeable solutions to ensure it will keep running without issue — through whatever weather may come its way. Reach out to Duane Blanton today, at (815) 781-2567, or set up an appointment online through their online scheduling portal

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