Prepare Your Outside Air Conditioner Unit for Winter - On the House

Prepare Your Outside Air Conditioner Unit for Winter

By on December 1, 2018
AC Winter

Prepare Your Outside Air Conditioner Unit for Winter

Find the air conditioning circuit near your unit. Usually, it has a plastic or metal lid that covers the electrical circuit. Open the lid and flip the switch to turn the unit off. This prevents the unit from turning on during an unusually warm winter day, keeping water out of the unit that could potentially freeze.

Wash the air conditioning unit with a hose to remove bird droppings, dead bugs, dirt and dust. Remove leaves, small branches and grass clippings from the unit. Allow the unit to dry completely.
Install foam pipe covers around exterior exposed pipes. Cut the foam to fit the length and diameter of the pipe. The foam covers insulate the pipes and protect them against freezing temperatures. Wrap duct tape around the foam covers to hold them in place.

Cover the HVAC unit with a plastic or vinyl cover. Choose a cover that is waterproof. Some manufacturers make covers that are specifically designed for air conditioners, but you can use any plastic or vinyl covering that fits over the unit.

Wrap vinyl ropes or bungee cords around the air conditioning cover to keep it secure. Make sure the cover is wrapped tightly so it doesn’t blow away in strong winds.

Check your air conditioner once a week to make sure the cover is secure. Brush water, snow and ice off the unit. Remove twigs, pinecones and leaves from the cover.


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  1. Terry Roberts

    December 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    For those in harsher climates.Cut a piece of plywood to cover the top to redirect any icesicles

    • onthehouse

      December 7, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Awesome suggestion, Terry! Thanks!

  2. Dave

    December 5, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I was listening to On The House a few weeks ago and heard a recipe for removal of “black mold,” and am having difficulty finding it on you sight.
    It had a detergent, some chlorine, and something else.
    Could you send me the recipe please?


    • onthehouse

      December 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      Hi, Dave.

      The formula that you are referring is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory. It includes the following ingredients:
      1/3 cup of powdered detergent
      1 quart liquid laundry bleach
      3 quarts warm water.
      First add the bleach to the water, then the detergent. Keep the surface you are cleaning wet until the bleach removes the stains. Use a sponge and warm water to remove the solution. Make sure to wear rubber gloves and proper eye protection. And remember, never mix bleach with ammonia (or cleaners containing ammonia), since the two create an irritating, toxic gas.

      Good luck!

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