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Winterize your air conditioning units

If you are fortunate enough to have air conditioning in some of your camp buildings, you know it can be a significant expense in your budget. That’s why it’s so important you take good care of your units, so you don’t have the added expense of needing to replace them.

Church Mutual provides guidance for property maintenance at camps. While you should always follow manufacturers’ recommendations, the following are four easy steps for winterizing air conditioning units:

  1. Disconnect power to the unit. This is an important first step — not only can you damage the unit by trying to service it while it is still running, but you also could risk injury to yourself if the power is not disconnected. You can turn the air conditioning unit off by flipping the associated breaker in the building’s electrical panel, turning off the switch next to an outdoor unit or unplugging the unit.
  2. Clear debris from the unit. Over the course of the summer, your air conditioning unit is bound to accumulate lots of sticks, leaves and other debris that has blown onto it. This debris could make it easier for mice, rats and other critters to make a nest inside the unit for the winter. Any small animal that makes a nest in your air conditioning unit may also chew on the wires, which would make the unit unusable come next summer.
  3. Cover the unit. Once it is dry, use a tarp or cover provided by the manufacturer to completely cover it for the winter. This covering will be your air conditioner’s main protection against winter weather, so make sure it is tight, secure and can’t be removed by a heavy snowfall. If you can’t cover the whole unit, then at least cover the top grated area to prevent debris from falling inside. If you have a window unit, disconnect it and store it inside. Remember, however, to uncover it before turning it on.
  4. Cover the pipes. Cover any exposed pipes connected to your air conditioning unit. You can do so with foam coverings, which will prevent the pipes from cracking and breaking.

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