In summer, the air conditioner helps to cool down temperatures around rooms by cooling the air that flows around the house. In winter, the air conditioner is at the risk of freezing up, with or without snow days.
When the weather gets cooler, you tend to replace using your air conditioner with your space heater instead. Yet, your air conditioner still needs maintenance and upkeep even when not in use. Air conditioners can freeze up when it gets too cold as the unit catches condensation from the cold air, and the compressors can freeze up with refrigerant.
Prepare for those cold winter days with our 6 ways to maintain your air conditioning unit in the wintertime:
- Have your unit serviced before winter hits.
Once the summer days have gotten shorter, and autumn comes around, we tend to use our aircon units less and less. By wintertime, we’ve completely forgotten the air conditioner until Spring warms up the days and nights again.
Most homeowners forget to have their air conditioners serviced before winter, then scramble to get their units cleaned in time for spring and summer. Get your unit ready for use at any time, and prevent your aircon from freezing up by scheduling a professional cleaning, top up, and general servicing before winter begins.
For our Singapore readers, we recommend Luce Aircon for all your air conditioning needs, as this company provides a one-stop shop all across the country. You can find out more about their services through their website: http://www.luceaircon.sg/services/aircon-servicing
- Fix any problems as soon as you notice something’s amiss.
Just because your aircon isn’t in use doesn’t mean you can put off scheduling a diagnostics and repair for it. Take note of the sounds and smells of your air conditioner, and get your unit checked by a professional HVAC technician to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
Be especially careful with air conditioning units that have a sulfuric or skunk-like odour, as these are indicative of harmful chemical and gas leaks that may be coming from inside your unit. Never attempt to fix air conditioning problems yourself, especially with electrical issues. When in doubt, call on a professional technician to take a look.
- Cover your outdoor unit when not in use.
The outdoor unit is the most susceptible to breaking down as it is exposed to the elements. Cold rain, hail, or sunshine, the outdoor unit experiences any weather – none harsher than the cold air of winter.
Birds, squirrels, and other small animals will also seek refuge in the winter, and they can get into your air conditioning system through the outdoor unit, and chew on cables inside the air conditioner. You don’t want to end up having to haul out your entire cooling system by the end of winter, so best to cover the outdoor unit.
You can use a strong piece of insulation tarp to cover the outdoor unit, or purchase a commercial-available plastic cover to seal off the rain and cold air from your outdoor unit. If you’re using the air conditioner, remove the cover from the outdoor unit first before you turn on your indoor unit.
- Don’t use your air conditioner at a low setting.
If you have to use your air conditioner at all during the winter month, avoid setting the temperature at too low of a setting as low temperatures cause aircon units to condense, drip, and eventually freeze up.
When your air conditioner freezes up too often, you may have a problem on your hands. Freezing up significantly decreases the lifespan of your air conditioner, and you’ll need to thaw out the unit before you can use it properly again. Freezing up also causes the internal mechanisms to malfunction, causing your unit to break down faster.
- Clean your aircon unit regularly.
Even when not in use, your aircon unit needs to be cleaned as often as any other home appliance. The exterior of your unit can gather dust particles, and the filter can trap debris from the air. Wipe off the dust and wash the filter every few weeks to make sure that grime doesn’t get into the interior of your unit.
For aircon units that have not been serviced or cleaned in a long time, opt for a chemical wash that will clean every part of your air conditioner. A chemical wash should be done annually to keep your unit in good working order.
- Clean up water or snow that gets into your unit.
Rain water or the occasional snow can get into your unit and mess with the internal mechanisms, especially when the water expands after freezing. The water can also start to flow into your home, and using a flooded air conditioner is dangerous if the water gets into the electrical components.
Wipe off any excess water that you notice pooling around your unit, and dry your aircon as much as you can to get rid of the water. When possible, cover your unit with a plastic sheet to prevent water from entering the interior.