How to Prep Your Air Conditioner for Winter

Frozen,air,conditioner,in,ice,icicles,on,a,yellow,wall.As the temperatures start to drop and winter approaches, it’s time to start thinking about prepping your air conditioner for the cold weather ahead. Proper winterization of your air conditioning system not only helps to protect it from potential damage but also ensures its optimal performance when you need it again in the warmer months. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps to prep your air conditioner for winter, keeping it in top shape and ready for the next cooling season.

1. Clean and Clear:

Before you start any maintenance tasks, it’s essential to clean and clear the area around your outdoor air conditioning unit. Remove any leaves, debris, or objects that may have accumulated around the unit during the summer months. Ensure there is at least two feet of clearance around the unit to allow for proper airflow and prevent potential damage.

2. Inspect and Replace Filters:

Dirty or clogged air filters can restrict airflow and reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Inspect the filters and replace them if necessary. Clean filters not only help to maintain indoor air quality but also contribute to the overall performance of your system. Consider investing in high-quality, reusable filters for long-term cost savings.

3. Turn off the Power:

To prevent any accidental startup during the winter months, it’s crucial to turn off the power to your air conditioning system. Locate the power disconnect switch near the outdoor unit or shut off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the unit. This simple step ensures the safety of both you and your air conditioner.

4. Cover the Outdoor Unit:

Covering your outdoor air conditioning unit provides an added layer of protection against winter weather elements, such as snow, ice, and debris. Use a specialized air conditioner cover or a tarp to cover the entire unit, securing it with straps or bungee cords to prevent it from being blown away by strong winds. Make sure the cover is tightly fitted but allows for adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.

5. Insulate Exposed Pipes:

Exposed pipes near the outdoor unit are susceptible to freezing and potential damage during the winter months. Insulate these pipes using foam pipe insulation or heat-resistant tape. Wrap the insulation around the pipes tightly, making sure there are no gaps, to protect them from freezing temperatures and prevent costly repairs.

6. Schedule Professional Maintenance:

While there are steps you can take as a homeowner to prep your air conditioner for winter, it’s always a good idea to schedule professional maintenance as well. A qualified HVAC technician can thoroughly inspect your system, identify any potential issues, and perform necessary maintenance tasks. They will check refrigerant levels, inspect electrical connections, clean components, and make any required adjustments or repairs to ensure your air conditioner is in optimal condition.

7. Consider a Programmable Thermostat:

If you don’t already have one, consider installing a programmable thermostat for your air conditioning system. Program the thermostat to lower temperatures during the winter months when the AC is not in use. This not only helps to save energy but also ensures that your air conditioning system doesn’t accidentally turn on during periods of milder weather.

8. Monitor Regularly:

Even though your air conditioner will not be in use during the winter, it’s important to monitor it regularly for any signs of damage or issues. After heavy snowfalls or storms, clear any snow or ice buildup from the unit and inspect it for any visible damage. Addressing potential problems early on can save you from costly repairs or replacements in the future.


By following these steps to prep your air conditioner for winter, you can ensure its longevity and optimal performance when you need it again. Proper maintenance and protection during the colder months will help protect your investment and extend the lifespan of your air conditioning system. So, take the time to prep your AC for winter and enjoy worry-free cooling when the warmer weather returns.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Keep cool or stay warm with Ashley Brothers Heating & Cooling. Since 1999, Ashley Brothers have been providing residential and commercial services to the St. Louis and Jefferson County area. We specialize in the installation of new equipment, heating and cooling repair, and furnace cleaning. Craftsmanship is important, equipment choice is too. We work with only top brands like Amana, Goodman, York, and McLain. It is understandable that replacing or upgrading your equipment can be daunting. Ask us about financing. We repair all heating and cooling equipment brands. Heating and cooling repairs can happen at random, take advantage of our 24-hour emergency service. Call us today about your concerns.