How to Prepare your Air Conditioning Unit for Winter

Published 9/19/2014

Like a number of other things, air conditioning units are only used seasonally, and must be prepped properly for winter weather.  In fact, having one of Mr. Duct's Heating and Air Conditioning's trained professionals check your air conditioner annually helps to prevent breakdowns, increase efficiency, and extend the life of your air conditioner. If you have already had your air conditioner checked for the year, here are a few tips to further prepare your air conditioning unit for winter.


Your unit has a circuit breaker located close to it. Locate this box and open it to reveal the switch inside. Flip this switch to the “off” position so your air conditioner will not inadvertently come on if you experience an unusually warm day. Should this happen, water could then get into your unit that might later freeze when temperatures got a bit colder.


Take a look at your unit and make sure there are no leaves, sticks, grass or other debris inside it. Remove objects as needed, then give the outside of your air conditioner a quick wipe down with a damp cloth to remove dirt, grime and bird droppings.


Once your unit is dry, cover it with a heavy tarp, sheets of vinyl or another waterproof covering, and then secure it with bungee cords to ensure it stays in place. For an even tighter fit, you can buy a cover that’s designed especially for outdoor air conditioning units; however, doing so can sometimes be expensive.

Insulate any exposed pipes by cutting foam to fit them and them wrapping the pieces around them. You can purchase foam rather inexpensively at a hardware store, or you may also add thick pieces of Styrofoam to them as well.


Inspect the unit for signs of rust damage or leaks. If you notice anything unusual, have a professional make repairs so that your system will be ready to go as soon as spring arrives.


That’s really all there is to preparing an air conditioning unit for winter weather. Following these steps will prolong the life of your system, while also ensuring you are ready for spring as soon as it arrives.

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