The winter weather in the Bay Area can do more damage to an outdoor air conditioning unit than many people realize. Even though you might not be using your A/C when the temperature drops in the East Bay and South Bay, you still need to give your outdoor unit some winter protection.
Protect your A/C Unit from Winter Rain
If you live in an Oakland, San Jose or other Bay Area home with central air conditioning that you won’t be using this winter, follow these tips to avoid the dangers of leaving your air conditioner exposed to the elements.
1. Keep Your Unit Covered and Protected
The first step in protecting your air conditioner from winter rain and other inclement weather is to keep the unit covered. A simple tarp is usually enough to provide winter protection from most of the rain and debris that comes with winter storms in the Bay Area, but also keep things such as lawn furniture, decorations, and anything else that could be blown around by a strong wind away from your unit.
2. Disconnect Your Unit
Since you probably won’t be needing your Bay Area HVAC unit for the next few months, you can safely shut it down for now. You can cut the power to your unit with the circuit breakers, or you can simply turn off your cooling options with your thermostat if you think you might need your AC occasionally.
3. Secure Your Unit
One of the dangers of leaving an air conditioner exposed to the elements is the possibility that the unit itself could be knocked loose by inclement weather. To prevent this from happening, check to see that all of the bolts that hold your unit in place are tight and in good condition. If there’s some particularly nasty weather on the horizon, you might want to consider securing your unit with hurricane straps. All of this should be while your unit is kept on a stable concrete pad.
4. Protect Any Wires
While you are protecting your AC unit from potential bad weather, you will need to provide the same kind of winter protection to any visible wires that are running from your unit to your home. Insulated wires are usually safe from the elements, but even those can become damaged over time if they aren’t protected.
Never Neglect Air Conditioner Maintenance!
While providing winter protection to your AC unit is vital, you should never forget about regular air conditioner maintenance. (Contact us to schedule your inspection.) It may not protect you from all the dangers of leaving an air conditioner exposed to the elements in the East Bay or the South Bay, but we will be able to catch any issues that need to be addressed before they get any worse, and threaten your investment!