Running your AC in the winter may sound crazy, but there are actually several reasons why you might wish to do so. For example, if you're getting ready to sell or rent your house, you might think you should turn on your unit so the interested family can see that it works. You might also want to run your AC if you live in a heat-controlled building, especially if you like to keep your home a little cooler than most people.
While turning on your air conditioner for a few minutes might seem harmless, it can actually do quite a bit of harm if temperatures are below 60 degrees. Following are three reasons why you should never turn on your AC when it's cold outside.
Like most machines, your AC unit requires lubrication to work properly. The part of your unit that requires the most oil is the compressor, which is usually located outside. Since oil gets thicker in cold weather, it won't move properly through your unit in colder weather, which can cause a great deal of damage and may even lead to the complete breakdown of your compressor. The risk of damage is real. In fact, many units are equipped with a temperature sensor that won't allow you to turn on the unit if it's too cold out.
Air conditioners produce condensation. In cold weather, condensation can accumulate on the coils and freeze, resulting in a frozen unit. A unit may also freeze up due to the accumulation of winter precipitation, such as snow and ice. If allowed to run unchecked, a frozen unit can sustain serious damage to its components, which can cost you a lot in repair bills. What's more, a frozen unit will not cool down your home. So it is often pointless to try to run your AC when it's cold out. It's much more efficient to open a window.
As mentioned, it's often pointless to run your AC when it's cold out. Safety sensors and frozen coils often prevent your unit from putting out any cool air. So if you're trying to prove that your unit works, you're probably wasting your time. Even if the air feels cool, you could just be pulling in cold air from the outside. Running your unit in low temperatures is never a good indicator of how well it's working. It's much better to have the unit visually inspected by an HVAC tech to identify any problems.
Running your AC in cold weather can cause a great deal of damage to your unit. If you need to know if your unit is working properly, have it inspected (by contractors like Perry Heating Cooling). Never turn it on to test it when it's cold outside.