A common question that many homeowners with central air conditioners have is if they need to do anything special to prepare their air conditioner prior to the winter weather coming. It is an outdoor appliance, so it's natural to want to do all that you can to protect it and prolong its lifespan. Here is what you should know about protecting your AC when it gets cold outside.

Air Conditioners Are Built For Cold Weather

It's important to understand that air conditioners were built with cold winter temperatures in mind. Even if you do not do anything at all, the air conditioner is going to be fine and survive. The air conditioner can end up looking a bit rough after going through multiple winters, but in general, the unit will be fine.

Air Conditioners Can Be Covered

You still may want to take the steps to cover your air conditioner to protect it from unnecessary wear. This is because the air conditioner may be in a visible place in your backyard, and you want to keep the unit looking great and not suffer any cosmetic damage. You may also be looking to keep pests out of the air conditioner and prevent them from building a nest in the unit. For example, trees that drop food into the air conditioner can attract small critters to the air conditioner where they make it their home. You can cover the air conditioner by taking a tarp and wrapping it around the entire unit. You can even hold the tarp in place using elastic cords so that it is secured tightly and will not blow away.

That said, the only time you do not want to do this is if you use your heat pump for both heating and cooling purposes. That heat pump is going to get some use during the upcoming winter, and it will damage the unit if you cover it with a tarp. 

Air Conditioners Can Have The Exterior Waxed

The other option for caring for your air conditioner includes waxing the exterior of the unit just as if it was your vehicle. A protective layer of wax is going to protect it from all the rain and snow that comes in contact with the unit over the years and help the unit look good without having to cover it with a tarp. 

Reach out to an air conditioning contractor for more tips on how to protect your AC this upcoming winter.