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How to Shut Down Your AC at the End of the Season

ice-on-acEventually, your air conditioning system is going to shut down for the rest of the year. The cold settles in for winter, and it won’t be until spring arrives that you’ll turn on your cooling system once more. But you can’t simply trust that your AC will leap to life next year, fresh from a winter nap and ready to get to work once more. Air conditioners don’t work that way! You’ll need to schedule maintenance for it in spring, the same way we encourage homeowners now to schedule maintenance for their heating systems.

And there are a few steps you can take now to help your AC shut down for the season and remain in good condition over its winter break. You can call on us if you need any other air conditioning service in Benton, LA or elsewhere in our service area.

Just Turning the AC Off Isn’t Enough?

If by “turning the AC off” you mean changing the thermostat over to heating for the rest of the year, then, no, that’s not enough. This isn’t actually turning off the air conditioner. There are a few basic steps to take to see that the air conditioner is completely turned off and then protected.

Why Is It Important to Have It Turned Fully Off?

You’re thinking that since you won’t be using the air conditioner, it won’t be turning on. But it’s easy—especially in our weather where there are occasional mild periods of warming—for the air conditioner to turn itself back on for a short period of time. That’s not something you want to happen because it will mean the outdoor cabinet will draw in water from the outdoors inside it, and this promotes rust. You want to have the AC powered off and the cabinet protected.

Okay, How Do I Do That?

It’s not difficult at all. Just follow this guide:

  • Locate the outdoor breaker switch for the air conditioning system. This should be located near the condenser cabinet under a flip lid. Open the lid and turn the switch to “off.” Now your AC will not turn on accidentally. (Make sure you remember in spring that you need to flip this switch again to get the AC working.)
  • Brush off the condenser cabinet and move away rocks, leaves, branches, and other debris from around it. This will prevent objects from getting stuck inside the cabinet over the winter, when winds may send debris gusting through the grill.
  • Clean off the condenser’s cabinet with a hose. Don’t use the hose at high pressure, since the force of the water might bend the coils.
  • After the condenser cabinet is fully dried from the rinsing, put a waterproof cover over it. You can purchase specially designed covers from stores for this job, or use a waterproof tarp large enough to completely cover the unit. Strap bungee cords around the cover to secure it in place so it won’t be torn off in a windstorm.

Remember, don’t let any AC repair issues linger! If you still need an air conditioning fix done, call us before you shut the system down for the year.

Call the Doctor of Home Comfort: Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration.

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