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The winter can be a very difficult season for your outdoor equipment. If you have an outdoor air conditioning unit, an outdoor water heater, or other equipment it is important to take steps to prepare it for the winter. Not only can the dirt and debris cause damage outside, rust can actually deteriorate the equipment, leading to the need to replace items before their life should be up. If you take the time to winterize, you can extend the life of your HVAC equipment through even the toughest winters. Consider these tips and prevent costly repairs next time the fall gives way to winter.

Store items that you will not be using

Some of your HVAC equipment will be of no use during the winter. If you have an outdoor air conditioning unit that is not permanently secured or fastened—like a window unit–you should prepare the unit for storage away from all of the elements. Before you put the equipment in storage, take time to thoroughly clean the outside of the equipment and the internal components. Take the air filter out, wash it with warm water and let it dry. Only after it is clean should you store the unit is a dry place that is safe from both the elements and pests that are looking for a warm place to call home.

Winterizing HVAC and other equipment that is permanently fixed

Not all of your HVAC equipment can be disassembled and stored in your garage or your shed. If you have equipment that you will be using during the winter that you cannot store, you will need to use different methods to winterize. One effective way to keep equipment, like gas cylinders, safe during the winter is to use an insulated winterizing cover. These covers will keep your equipment in good condition and keep the machinery functioning when you need it the most.

A gas cylinder heater, such as a power blanket, does more than just protect the tanks or cylinders you rely on during the winter months. If you power your home off of propane, you may notice that your system is not as efficient as it should be in cold weather. This is because the cold keeps the propane from vaporizing, leading to a loss of pressure that is needed to run generators. The powerful heating cover will keep the gas temperature warm to ensure that vaporizing rates are high.

Take time to extend the life of your HVAC equipment and make it more efficient in cold climates. By storing some units and protecting the units that cannot be stored, you can have a comfortable winter that will not cost you a fortune later.

About the Author: Mikalah is a guest contributor from North Winds Heating and Cooling, a Lansing, Michigan heating and cooling company the specializes in getting home HVAC systems ready for Michigan winters.

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