Winterizing your central air conditioner prevents rust damage and keeps critters from nesting inside mechanical parts. Winterization of your HVAC unit is a straightforward do-it-yourself home improvement project. It takes just a few minutes of your time to complete. By following these simple steps, you can help keep your central air conditioning unit clean and in top working condition for summers to come. The best time to prep your HVAC unit is early fall, just before you close the windows and turn on the heat.
1. Remove leaves, twigs and grass clippings. Use a garden hose to rinse the outdoor air conditioner, removing droppings, bugs, dirt and dust. Allow the HVAC unit to dry completely.
2. Locate the electrical circuit. It usually has a plastic or metal lid. Remove the lid and flip the switch to cut power supply. This prevents the unit from turning on during a warm winter day, which keep water out of the unit that could freeze overnight and damage your HVAC unit.
3. Install tubular foam or rubber pipe insulation with tees and elbows around pipes to protect against freezing. Cut the foam to fit by length and diameter of the pipe. Place tees and elbows first.