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Steps for Shutting Down Your AC Unit and Winterizing It

Monday, October 23, 2017
Steps for Shutting Down Your AC Unit and Winterizing It

Fall is here, and air conditioners across Washington are seeing decreased usage. In a week or two you’ll want to shut down your AC unit completely and prepare for it winter. Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating, the preeminent AC company serving Lynnwood, WA, offers these steps for shutting down your system and prepping it for the cold days ahead:

Step 1: Make Sure to Shut Off the Unit, Not Just the Thermostat

It’s a common misconception that switching your thermostat from “cool” to “off” will shut down the AC unit. But in order to fully deactivate the unit, you need to go outside and turn off the AC circuit next to the AC system itself. This small step is actually a big deal, because an AC system that isn’t turned off can collect water/moisture during the winter on unseasonably warm days. When the temperature reverts back to standard winter chill, this water could freeze inside the AC unit and cause damage.

Step 2: Give Your AC Unit a Thorough Cleaning

After the system is shut off, grab your water hose and wash the system thoroughly. You’ll be surprised how much stuff collects in an AC unit over the course of a summer; dust, leaves, bugs, and other snips of nature are all liable to come streaming out of your system. Next, if your AC unit is near your shrubbery, give those shrubs a trim – and while you’re at it, check the unit for twigs and branches and remove any that are stuck. Lastly, wait for the unit to dry completely before winterizing. If you winterize while there’s still water inside, this could lead to rust, which could wear out the unit faster.

Step 3: Insulate the AC Unit’s Pipes

Insulating the AC unit’s pipes is essential for preventing cracks or breaks over the winter. Wrap the pipes in foam covers, use duct tape to secure the insulation, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pipes won’t freeze when the temperature plummets.

Step 4: Cover the Unit

After you address the pipes, the fourth and final step is to insulate the unit itself. Don’t cover this step until the unit is turned off and you’re ready to hunker down for winter. Covering a still-active AC unit is a recipe for trouble. For the cover itself, we recommend a vinyl or waterproof plastic cover made snug with bungee cords. Check the cover periodically, and regularly remove any snow, leaves, or branches that collect on it. On warm winter days when you want to run the AC for a few hours, remove the cover before turning the unit on.


Trust Day and Nite Plumbing and Heating for all of your plumbing and heating needs, from water heater repair and drain cleaning to re-piping and air conditioning repair near Lynnwood, WA. Contact us today for a quote, and ask about our current specials.


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Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating is a locally owned and operated family business. We care about our customers and stand behind our work. Your comfort and safety are our top priorities.