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When Do You Need To Start Thinking About Dewinterizing Your Home's AC?

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If you've been weathering brutally cold weather and heavy snow, you might not want to spend much too much time thinking about your home's air conditioning system. The warm summer months might look like a welcome respite from the winter cold, but that relief will probably turn to discomfort as the hot and sweaty summer months hit full force.

The best way to keep your summer cool and comfortable is to ensure that your air conditioner can operate reliably and efficiently. While some failures are unavoidable, proper maintenance can help minimize the likelihood of a costly breakdown. Of course, part of the maintenance plan involves getting your air conditioner ready for use as winter winds down.

What's Involved in Dewinterizing an Air Conditioner?

There's no hard and fast definition of "dewinterization." The process may vary between households, depending on the design of your home's HVAC system, how recently you've performed a routine service, and what steps you might have taken before the winter to protect your air conditioner. While some steps are easy to perform yourself, others require a professional.

In general, it's important to take the time to clean and clear your outdoor unit. If you've installed a tarp or cover, you should remove it once there's no longer any danger of snow or ice. It's also crucial to clean up yard debris around the condenser since too much debris can impact airflow and efficiency. You may also want to clean inside the condenser unit, although it's often better to leave this job to an expert.

Other steps are closer to normal maintenance. For example, you should always check and replace your air filter before the cooling season starts. This step is especially crucial if your home uses hydronic heating and you haven't used your ductwork throughout the winter. Other tasks may include cleaning the interior evaporator, checking for refrigerant leaks, and measuring temperature drop at your vents.

When Should You Schedule a Dewinterization Visit?

The ideal time to schedule a dewinterization service visit is once the threat of snow is over but before the cooling system arrives. Your air conditioner's compressor can't run when temperatures are extremely cold, so it's generally best to avoid major maintenance or service visits when temperatures are below sixty degrees.

Of course, you can still perform basic maintenance once temperatures warm up, such as changing your filter or cleaning around the condenser. Taking care of these chores will make your dewinterization service visit quicker and easier. You also shouldn't be afraid to call ahead to schedule a visit a month or two in the future; many HVAC contractors can become busy as it gets hot.

Ultimately, there's no best time for a dewinterization. Any time is generally fine as long as you schedule your service visit once winter is over and before you're ready to start putting your system into daily use. For more information on AC dewinterization, contact a company near you.