One of the best things about winter in Texas is the end of the stifling heat. The temperature is more pleasant, and being able to switch off your air conditioning unit means a welcome relief in your electric bill, too. However, as someone who is new to owning an air conditioning unit, you may not be aware that your air conditioner still requires maintenance over the winter months. Here are three things you should do to keep your air conditioner running as well as new.

Keep The Outdoor Component Free Of Debris

Even though you are not using the air conditioner at present, it does not pay to allow tree debris and other material to sit on the outdoor unit, clogging up its vents. Not only does it build up to a point where you will have a big cleanup job ahead of you in spring, but while the debris is sitting on the metal, it brings with it extra moisture. This moisture can lead to rust corrosion of the metal. If the metal corrodes enough, the vents break, and then you'll need to purchase a new exterior cover for your air conditioning unit. It is much cheaper to remove the debris a couple of times a month.

Buy A Cover For Your Exterior Unit

An easier way to avoid a buildup of debris on your outdoor air conditioner unit is to head down to the local hardware store to purchase a cover. These covers are made of thick plastic, and they are waterproof. Use a tape measure to get the width and height of your unit, and take these measurements with you to the hardware store. The covers are made in a number of standard sizes, so you'll be able to buy one which slips straight over the top of your air conditioning unit. Once in place, you save yourself the chore of cleaning the unit.

Don't Forget Pipe Insulation

Finally, there are pipes which run from the outdoor air conditioning unit into your house. In the heart of winter when the temperature plummets, make sure these pipes are covered with intact insulation. You do not want these pipes to potentially explode from frozen water expanding inside them. You can purchase pipe insulation covering at the hardware store.

If you have any other concerns about home AC maintenance over winter, give your local HVAC contractor a call. They can inspect the unit and let you know of any repairs or further maintenance you need to do.