The best way to ensure your air conditioning unit works well next summer is to winterize it. This essential step of air conditioning maintenance in Visalia, CA adds longevity to your system and prevents bad surprises during the hottest days of the year. Now is the time to winterize your air conditioning before freezing nights and inclement weather start. Here is how to prepare your air conditioning unit for winter: Cut off power: Before you take any other winterizing steps, cut off the power to your air conditioning. This prevents the possibility of electrical shock while you work with it, and also keeps it from activating during the winter. You do not need your AC to confuse your heated home with a warm day. Even if the winter has unseasonably warm days, running the AC right before freezing temperatures start up again risks water entering the unit and freezing. That can lead to extensive repairs—and significant expense. Clean the unit: While this is not entirely necessary for winterizing, this is still a good routine to start every year when you winterize your air conditioner. You will have to clean it again when you need it next summer, but giving it a clean now will make it easier next year. This step prevents exterior damage and removes debris that can harm your AC unit. Pull sticks and leaves out of vents, and vacuum any tight spots. Hose off the exterior. Let it dry completely before you perform any other steps. Cover the pipes: Many units have pipes running between them and the home. These pipes move water, so it is a good idea to ensure that they do not freeze this winter. If they are exposed to the elements and little sunlight, cover them with duct tape and insulating foam. You can also use foam blocks to fit around the pipes and duct tape them in place. It will take more time to create insulating blocks, but you can reuse them for years. The first option is good only for one season at a time. Cover your AC unit: Once the unit is dry, protect it with a vinyl AC cover. This keeps water, debris or ice from building up on or within the AC unit. You want to find a waterproof cover that covers every square inch of the AC unit. Once covered, secure the cover with bungee cords or rope. Tarps and plastic covers are also effective as long as you wrap them around the unit tightly and choose waterproof material. While winterizing you may discover damage or debris that you cannot quite clean out of the AC unit. Rather than let these elements linger, consider calling an HVAC professional to address these issues now so they do not cause problems later. McGee Refrigeration offers a full range of air conditioning maintenance services. Give us a call today to winterize your air conditioning in Visalia, CA or perform repairs or maintenance to any other elements of your home’s HVAC system.