TULSA - This time of year, many people think about getting furnaces checked, but few consider winterizing their air conditioning unit.
Doing so could save homeowners a lot of money, especially in the long run.
Blair Harp of Harp Service Company tells KRMG there are a number of easy steps to take to prepare for the cold weather.
Clean it, then when it's dry, cover the outdoor unit to keep it clean and prevent debris from building up inside.
Covers for a/c units can be found online, though Blair says you can also use a UV-resistant barbeque cover in some cases.
Also, if aesthetics aren't a problem, a waterproof tarp and a couple of bungie cords will do the trick.
Next, ensure the unit doesn't kick on during the winter.
"It is wise to turn the unit off at the breaker, and/or pull the fuses," Blair said.
Most units will have a small box that contains the fuses, you can pull the fuse assembly out and store it so you don't lose it, or in many cases, simply turn it upside down and put it back in the box.
People with window units should remove them for the winter.
"We would absolutely advise that the window units be taken out," Blair said.
If left in the windows, they'll let warm air out and cold air in, badly decreasing the efficiency of the home's heat retention.
Finally, Blair says, getting the a/c system checked to ensure it's not leaking Freon before shutting it down for the winter could prevent a very expensive headache come Spring.
"If you do find that it's leaked through the winter and dumped out all the Freon, it could be very expensive. The expense of the Freon has gone up dramatically in the last few years," he said.