Preparing your home for winter usually requires caulking around windows and doors, having the furnace cleaning and checked, and pulling out boxes of wooly sweaters from seasons past. But, if you live in a snowy area of the country, there is another component to winter preparedness that you must not forget, and it involves your air conditioner. Snow may seem like a light fluffy substance, but when it is allowed to buildup on your air conditioner, it can cause costly damage.
Condenser Fan and Fan Motor
Inside your central air conditioner is a condenser fan. The fan is run by a motor and its purpose is to cool the refrigerant the system uses to remove heat from the air in the home. Newer air conditioners have wider fan blades than air conditioning system had 15 or 20 years ago. These wide blades help the air conditioner run more efficiently, but they also make a perfect platform for snow buildup.
Snow Buildup Causes Warping
When snow is allowed to buildup on your condenser fan blades, warping can occur. Snow and ice can become very heavy for these blades to support, and even a minor warping of the blades can cause problems. The blades are not able to turn efficiently when they become warped, and this begins to take a toll on the motor that runs the fan. It may not happen right away, but the motor will burn out, and the system will shut down before it overheats. The motor and the blades will have to be replaced if you expect to have a properly functioning and energy efficient air conditioner, and this repair is not cheap.
The Solution to Prevent Warping
Cover your air conditioner!! This is the only real solution to prevent snow from building up on your fan blades. Unless you want to trek out in the snow after each and every storm to clean off the unit, a customer fit cover could solve your problem all season long. However, you must make sure that the cover you purchase for your system is a custom fit for your particular make and model. Poorly fitting covers won’t protect the unit and could cause damage. Contact your contractor or system manufacturer for advice on where to get your air conditioner cover this winter and protect your system from costly damage this winter and for many winters to come.