Seeking Suggestions/Tips before covering up the central A/C for the season.

I guess I'll be opening up the panels and get any debris or dust that may have accumulated in the fins, but besides that, are there other procedures I should perform before I cover up the central A/C until next summer?
Yes, it's already getting chilly here in Edmonton, Alberta. There's even a frost warning out for overnight. So, I figure using the A/C won't be necessary until next summer.
Oh, and another thing, someone in another forum recommended that I rinse the coils with some boraic acid solution, then muratic solution and anybody know where I might be able to find some? Thanks.
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Holy Moses wrote:

Holy cow! Don't use acid on your AC unit. Some of the professional cleaning chemicals are acid based but I only use the alkaline based cleaner and I rinse it out thoroughly. Here in the states, the big box stores stock a foaming cleaner in a spray can that is safe to use by a homeowner. When you're rinsing your AC unit with a water hose, be careful because a full pressure stream can bend the fins over. Another consideration is the fact that your AC unit compressor may have a crankcase heater, it's purpose is to prevent liquid freon from collecting in the compressor when it is off. The reason for concern is that the heat could attract insects and small critters to build nests around the nice warm compressor. I've had to clean out quite few of them when warm weather starts. You can kill the power to the AC for the winter but you will have to remember to turn it back on a day before you crank it up for next season. That will give the compressor plenty of time to warm up. Before you start it up next spring, open it up and check for insects and critters that may have taken up residence over the winter.
[8~{} Uncle Monster
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On Tue, 28 Aug 2007 02:20:15 -0500, Uncle Monster

Great, great, thanks for such a timely reply. I'll be sure to thoroughly inspect the unit come next spring.
It looks as though the person who replied with suggesting using those said chemcials thought he was being witty and clever. Guess I should refrain from posting in there if I can help it.
Another question, if you will please, is whether to have the A/C covered or not over the winter? When asked for the reason, it's because it can "hold in moisture".
Any merit to this?
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Holy Moses wrote:

I grew up in the mountains of North East Alabamastan and we had these things called pine trees and these trees shed these pesky little things called pine needles which have the detestable habit of finding their way into every minute opening in every conceivable contraption not protected by the finest of screen wire mesh. I would definitely cover an AC unit to keep the winter wind blown debris out of it.
[8~{} Uncle Monster
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My installer told me to just lay a piece of plywood over the top of the unit for the winter. I happened to have a warped piece of luan that was just the right size, so I lay a piece of 2x4 on the top of the unit, lay the warped luan on top of that, and then strap it down with a bungee cord. The rain and melted snow just run right off.
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Your finned coil Evaporator and condenser are expensive components which can be damaged if cleaned with the wrong chemicals. Use a good commercial coil cleaner. Try AM Resupply ( Calgary - Edmonton ) Toll Free No 800-387 3131

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Great, great, I'll give them a call. Thanks!
On Tue, 28 Aug 2007 21:27:28 +1200, "Telstra"

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Yikes! I wouldn't put any kind of acid or harsh cleaners on an A/C unit. Either hose it off or remove debris using a blow gun hooked up to a compressor. It is a good idea to have an A/C specialist to check over your A/C once a year, or in your case every 2-3 years.
Here in east TN our A/C units get a good workout and still we are having sweat-like-a-hog upper-90 temperatures. I clean the A/C towers 2 or 3 times a year using a garden hose or blow gun.
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Thanks for your reply. No acid, gotcha. Guess some gentle rinsing and air blowing will do the trick. Thanks again.
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