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How to Turn Off the A/C For The Winter

HVAC November 21st, 2021 Back to HVAC Blog
turn off the air conditioner

As the warmth of summer turns to the chill of fall, it’s time to think about turning off the air conditioner. Shutting your system down correctly will help ensure that it works properly next summer and help you maintain good indoor air quality. Here is how you can avoid unnecessary damage and costly repairs to your HVAC system.

Take Care of Any Outstanding Repairs

Even though winter is approaching, AC malfunctions must receive timely fixes or they could worsen over the winter months. The last thing you want in the spring when the temperature starts to rise is a cooling system that isn’t working and a bill for air conditioning repair.  So before you turn off the air conditioner for the winter, make sure all your air conditioning maintenance & repairs are completed.

Inspect the Condenser Unit

Take a look at the condition of the condenser to make sure there is no visible damage like cracks or corroded areas and that the seals are tight. If you notice anything odd, make sure to schedule a service appointment with a HVAC technician.

Replace or Clean the HVAC Filter

Most HVAC systems use the same filter for cooling and heating, so it’s important to change it regularly throughout the year. We recommend that you replace the filter as you head into winter and if you have replaced it recently, it’s a good time to make sure it is still in good shape.

Time to Shut it Down

This means more than just setting the temperature higher in the thermostat. If not shut off completely, a sudden warm spell during the winter could cause the air conditioner to turn on briefly. If this occurs it could seriously damage the unit by drawing in snow and water. You can do this by finding the air conditioner’s breaker switch outside; usually located under a flip-up lid near the condenser unit.

Give the Outside a Good Cleaning

Brush off leaves, branches, and dirt clumps from the condenser unit using a broom or similar implement. Finish up by taking a hose and washing down the outside cabinet. Also clear the immediate area around the unit of leaves, mounds of dirt, or branches growing too close. This will help ensure proper air flow in the spring when it is time to turn it back on.

Cover it Up

A good waterproof cover will help protect the condenser unit from water, snow, and anything that might blow in during the winter. You can purchase a specially designed cover for this job from home supply stores or use a waterproof tarp as long as it tightly covers the unit. You can secure it in place with bungee cords or a similar method.

You may also want to cover any exposed pipes and wiring running from the air conditioner to help insulate them and prevent cracking or freezing during the cold. We suggest using foam pipe covers secured with electrical tape.

A Final Note

Get in the habit of scheduling your annual heating and cooling system tune-up in the spring.  

You can count on Moyer to keep your home comfort systems running at peak efficiency in your home. Proper maintenance of your air conditioner will prevent sudden breakdowns and reduce your heating & energy bills. Our experienced technicians have you covered, performing inspections, making expert adjustments and repairs with minimal disruption to your schedule.


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