In colder climates, people winterize air conditioning units, which basically involves cleaning them, shutting them down, and covering them for months of disuse over the winter season. Here in the Phoenix area, we do not have a “cold season” that means extended periods of time where air conditioner are not used. We also do not have a problem with standing snow or rain, which puts moisture into a unit and increases the risk of corrosion. Because we do not experience those issues, many people, even those who come to the Phoenix area from cold-weather environments, believe that no type of winterizing is necessary to optimize air conditioner performance. However, proper maintenance and cleaning is critical to ensure optimal performance and scheduling that maintenance when you expect to use your air conditioner less frequently is a good idea.
You can take a few minutes to winterize your unit.
While your routine spring maintenance is something that should be handled by a professional, you can frequently handle winterizing your unit as a DYI project. Once weather starts to cool down and you know that you will not need to turn the air conditioner on again for the season (or at least that you can turn it off for the day!), turn off the air conditioner at the disconnect switch. In colder climates where there is a threat of ice or snow, you would leave the air conditioner off until warm weather, but in our climate the purpose of turning off the unit is so that you can inspect it without having to worry about it turning on while you are inspecting and cleaning it.
Thoroughly clean the unit. Remove any plants that are growing too close to the air conditioner and could grow into it. Spray any debris off the coils. Remove sticks and twigs from the compressor. Survey the surroundings; are there plants or trees that are dropping leaves or twigs into or around the unit? If so, trim them back to reduce the amount of debris that gets into the air conditioner.
Do a thorough inspection while you are cleaning.
Next, inspect the unit. Do you see any rust, any frayed-looking electric wires, or any other signs of deterioration? Remember that with air conditioning units, prevention is always cheaper than repair. If something looks questionable, call Worlock Air Conditioning to have us come out and provide an inspection and let you know whether your unit needs any additional maintenance or repair.
Individual preference dictates whether you will actually use your air conditioner in the winter months, but Phoenix actually has very moderate and mild winter weather. If you historically have not used your air conditioner during our colder months, you might even choose to cover the unit for the season. If you do, wait until it is thoroughly dry from the cleaning and place a cover on it, leaving the unit turned off at the disconnect switch until you are ready for your spring maintenance inspection from Worlock.