One of the first things you want to do before the temperatures drop any lower is winterize your outdoor central air conditioning unit. Central air conditioning units cost thousands of dollars, this isn’t something you want to allow the cold Pittsburgh winters to damage and potentially destroy. September into early October is the most opportune time to prepare your unit for winter as this is a task where warm, sunny weather is a requirement.
Before you get started, make sure you turn off the exterior power supply to the central air conditioning unit. You don’t want to risk damaging your unit while simply trying to clean it.
Remove all leaves, branches, twigs, pinecones and any other debris from the unit. Using the garden hose, spray and clean off any remaining dirt and small particles. This is where the warm weather comes in because you don’t want to risk the system from freezing. Do this on a nice sunny morning so the unit has all afternoon to completely dry.
Once the unit is dry, cover it with a waterproof tarp or proper water resistant outdoor air conditioning unit cover. If you cover the unit while it is still wet, mold can grow and you will risk the unit rusting. This will protect your unit from not only rain, snow and colder temperatures but reduce the chances of damage that could be caused due to falling branches on windy winter days. Whether using stakes in the ground or bungee cords, ensure that the covering is properly secured.
Central air conditioning air ducts can be a source of cold drafts during the winter. To eliminate this cold draft, shut the air ducts of these vents. You can also use gaff tape to further reduce the chances of cold draft from coming through the air ducts and vents.