The air conditioning unit tucked safely behind your house may go months without needing your attention, but now that it's time to allow the unit to hibernate for the winter, there are a few things for you to do. Here, you'll learn what needs to be done to prepare your central air conditioning unit for winter.

Control Pests

The first thing to do is to remove any high weeds and trim back any shrubs around the unit. The more vegetation there is growing around it, the more pests it will attract. Once the pests have come, they will transform your hibernating air conditioning unit into a winter resort for their families.

Now, look for pest-deterrent products at your local home improvement store. Many of these products just need to be sprinkled around the unit every month or so to keep skunks, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, and other small animals away from the area. This will prevent wires from getting chewed and the unit from becoming filled with nests and waste.

Cover the Unit

You can pick up an air conditioning unit cover at your local home improvement store. They are relatively cheap in most cases, but they can be somewhat expensive for the more durable options. Before you put the cover over the unit, get a board the size of the top of the unit and set it on top. This will protect the unit from falling debris and help to prevent water from seeping inside and freezing on the internal components.

Disconnect the Power

There will be no need for the unit to be powered for the winter. All you'll have to do to disconnect power is flip the breaker that it's connected to. This will stop the trickle of electricity that would be lost and protect the unit from damage during power surges that occur during outages and severe storms.

Spring Maintenance

It's never too early to start thinking about spring. Contact a professional HVAC technician like those at Scott Guerin Heating & Cooling now to set up your appointment for spring maintenance. If you get your appointment on the books now, you know that you'll be one of the first in the neighborhood staying cool once spring and summer roll around. During the maintenance visit, any damage that has occurred over the winter will be repaired and the system will be checked over to make sure that it is running as efficiently as possible.

It only takes a little time and a little money to protect your air conditioning unit for the winter. Don't put it off—you could find yourself heated over not doing it come summer.