Central AC: Should You Winterize Unit?
LESLIE: Linda in Rhode Island is on the line and needs some help with winterizing the A/C unit. What’s going on?
LINDA: Well, I was wondering if someone could give me this proper procedure to shut down the unit for the winter. Because it was not successful last winter, I ended up with a problem when I went to start it up in the spring. So I thought, perhaps, I had not done something that maybe should have been done that I wasn’t aware of.
TOM: Ah, probably just bad luck, Linda. When you have an outside central air-conditioning compressor, there’s really not much to be done in the winter. Except that what we generally recommend is that you turn the power off to it and then you cover the top of it. One thing you don’t want to do is cover the sides of it, because you have to let moisture move in and move out.
If you completely wrap it up – I’ve seen people completely wrap them up like a holiday package. Bad idea because that traps a lot of moisture inside. It can cause condensation and corrosion. You really just want to cover the top to kind of keep leaves out. But other than that, you just leave it exposed and nothing should happen to it as a result of that.
LINDA: Oh, very good. Well, I certainly will follow that this year, because I did exactly what you said: I wrapped it up like a package thinking I was protecting it.
TOM: And maybe that didn’t work out so well. So, yeah, I think you maybe gave it a little bit too much TLC. So just cover the top to stop the leaves from getting in but leave the sides open so it can air out properly, OK? So it can ventilate properly.
LINDA: Well, thank you ever so much.
TOM: Linda, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.