Preparing the home for winter weather is something that most homeowners do every fall. Winterizing the pool, rolling up and storing away the garden hoses, having the chimney inspected, and topping up the amount of attic insulation are just a few of the ways in which this is commonly done. 

Those who live in areas where winter weather is harsh should also devote some time to making sure their homes' air conditioning systems are ready for the coming change of seasons. Homeowners who have never given much thought to preparing their air conditioning systems for winter can use these proactive tips to get started. 

Inspect for damage

The first step in preparing your home's air conditioning system for winter weather is to examine it for any condition issues that may already exist. To do this, take a flashlight outside and use it to conduct a visual examination of the air conditioning condenser unit. The condenser unit is the large metal, box-shaped appliance typically located to the rear or side of the house. 

Using the flashlight, carefully check all the hoses and wires that extend from inside the box to the exterior wall of your home. Look for nicks, cuts, or chew marks that could indicate chew damage from rodents or damage from exposure to sharp rocks or other materials. 

It is also important to use the flashlight to shine inside the protective case of the condenser unit. If you see a lot of grass clippings, acorns, or twigs inside the case, it is possible that a rodent has made a nest there that will need to be removed. 

Clean to remove dust and debris

In most cases, a small handheld shop vacuum can be used to help clear away accumulated dust, debris, grass clippings, and small twigs. If the buildup of debris is too large and unable to be removed by using the shop vac, it is best to have an air conditioning company do so. 

This type of service professional will have the tools and training to remove the case, clean the interior, and inspect it for any signs of damage that could cause your air conditioning system to fail next spring. 

During this visit, homeowners should also consider asking the A/C service technician for instructions on how to best cover the unit to help protect it from winter weather. Additionally, this last service call of the year is an excellent time to also have the entire unit serviced, including the interior components and your furnace. Doing so will help homeowners enjoy a better winter heating season, as well as problem-free cooling next year.