We enjoy our lives more during the sweltering summer days thanks to air conditioners. Is using your air conditioner still wise when the weather becomes colder and the seasons change?
If the outdoor temperature is already 60 degrees or lower, the majority of manufacturers advise against using their air conditioners. The AC’s coils will begin to develop ice crystals at this temperature, which will have an impact on the refrigerant’s behavior. Running your air conditioner in a low-temperature environment might also harm crucial parts due to this freezing.
Now that you’re aware that it’s not a good idea to use your air conditioner in cold weather, let’s delve deeper into this subject to learn more about the science and how to avoid any problems that your air conditioner might experience in the winter.
Issues With Running Your Air Conditioner In Cold Weather
Your AC may suffer in cold temperatures. It might result in expensive repairs. There are many variables at play, including the AC’s construction and ideal operating temperature. Let’s discuss a few of the problems you could have if you run your air conditioner in a cold climate.
Cooling Of Coils
When your air conditioner is running, you might have observed liquid trickling from its side. Condensation from the copper coils outside is the substance in question. This liquid condensate can freeze in cold temperatures and collect on the coil, making it challenging for your unit to circulate air.
Additionally, the coils’ freezing may cause the copper to become brittle and more vulnerable to punctures. The performance of your AC will be significantly impacted by any puncture, no matter how minor, in your coils.
Overheating Of Compressor
Your air conditioning equipment uses heat to operate efficiently, just like any other machine. The winter season’s freezing temperatures cause more harm to your unit than good.
In order to maintain your AC’s ideal operating temperature, the compressor will now need to work extra hard.
Your AC unit’s lifespan will be shortened if the compressor is overworked. Additionally, this will result in expensive repairs and permanent harm to not only the compressor but also to other important parts of your air conditioner.
Issues With Lubrication
An essential component of a compressor is lubricants. They aid in lubricating moving parts and ensure trouble-free operation of the compressor. However, lubricants’ effectiveness might be significantly impacted by chilly conditions and low temperatures.
Low temperatures can cause lubricants to thicken and become viscous, which may damage their lubricating qualities.
Due to your inability to see the lubrication, this issue may not appear significant. But continuing to ignore this problem could render your compressor useless.
Error From Ambient Temperature Sensor
Modern air conditioners contain temperature sensors that switch the entire unit off when a certain temperature is achieved as a result of technical advancements. Some AC owners bypass this sensor and operate the unit at significantly lower temperatures by using a third-party device.
Long-term costs for your unit can be high when using these kinds of gadgets. Continuously operating the AC at high settings can reduce its effectiveness and breach the unit’s warranty.
How To Maintain Your Air Conditioner In The Winter
All summer long, your air conditioner kept you and your family at ease. Your attention is now turning from the AC to the furnace as the cold weather draws near. Even so, it’s crucial to maintain your dependable air conditioner over the winter so that it will work properly when summer rolls around.
Clean Your AC Off
Your air conditioning unit will undoubtedly be unclean after being used for a prolonged period of time throughout the summer. Check the appliance for any buildup of dust or signs of wear and tear that might require immediate treatment. If no damage was discovered, you can now start cleaning the appliance.
To start, hose down the appliance and use a pressure washer to clean the exterior to get rid of any dust and debris. However, take care not to pressure wash important parts like the coils or fins. The water’s pressure has the potential to harm such parts, which could necessitate expensive repairs in the future.
Clear The Debris
When you’re using your unit, and especially when you’re not, it’s crucial to clean out the debris. Twigs, leaves, and dirt left on your unit may cause liability issues. Your unit can potentially be home to small animals, which could harm your system. Due to the material that is left around your AC unit, fungus and molds can also flourish.
You can avoid this by using a leaf blower to remove all debris. A leaf blower is not only easy to use, but the air itself can help clean up debris and dust accumulation in between difficult-to-reach locations.
Change The Air filters
You should replace the filters on a regular basis to keep your device operating efficiently. Attempt to do it when the seasons change. If you use your air conditioner to heat your home during the winter, having a clean and functional air filter will help your unit operate more efficiently. This should result in effective heating for each room in your house.
Wrap The Unit
It is best to cover your unit once you’ve cleaned it and changed the filters to preserve cleanliness. You do realize that you won’t be using it all winter. It might as well be covered for protection. Your unit will be protected from the elements and from accumulating debris if it is covered.
Placing a board on top and adding weight to keep it in place is another easy technique for winterizing your unit. This board will shield your unit from icicles that may fall and do damage.
Put Away Your Window Air Conditioners
It is better to take your window air conditioner out of the window and put it somewhere warm and dry if you have one. Then, secure the region where it usually is. By doing this, you’ll be able to keep the warm air inside while also avoiding any cold air leaks.
This procedure is applicable to windows other than those where your window air conditioner is located. Additionally, it applies to every other window in your house. Assuring your family’s comfort while also ensuring that all spaces are sealed during the winter helps you save money on energy costs.
Schedule Preventive Maintenance In Advance
It’s fine and beneficial to carry out do-it-yourself maintenance methods like the ones mentioned above. However, they cannot take the place of the services a qualified technician may offer. You can schedule an appointment with your technician and have them examine your unit even before the winter season officially begins.
The specialist will provide you pertinent advice on how to keep your appliance safe and get it ready for the upcoming winter.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix An AC That Isn’t Working?
A lot of things are done for our advantage by air conditioning equipment. In addition to cooling and heating our houses, they also support healthy air flow and air filtration.
Your air conditioner could end up costing you money if it’s neglected. Let’s look at what Fixr estimates the typical cost to be for fixing various AC parts.
- $195 For Air Filter that is Clogged
- $150 For a clogged AC drain
- $20 For a blower
- $25 For a circuit board
- $300 Recharge of Refrigeration
- $380 For Expansion Valve
- $400 Capacitor
- $475 AC Coil
- $500 Thermostat
- $600 For a condenser
- $650 Fan Motor
- $1,200 For ductwork
- $800 Compressor
- $1,500 Leak of Freon
- $2000 Coil Leak
As you can see, repair costs rise progressively as a component’s importance to the system increases. This is the rationale behind why you should consistently invest time and energy into maintaining your air conditioner. When your AC needs repairs, the prices are high and you won’t be able to use it to its full potential.
Winter can be difficult for owners of air conditioning units. Just keep in mind that running your air conditioning when it is already 60 degrees or lower is not a good idea.
Every owner may contribute to the maintenance of their air conditioners so that when spring arrives, they can reap the rewards in full. The longevity of your unit can be extended by following a straightforward DIY maintenance schedule over the winter.
Prevention is preferable to cure. Repair expenses are not cheap!