Did you know that it’s more common for homes in the U.S. to have an air conditioning unit than a dining room, garage, or dishwasher? Many people have A/C units, but few people know how to use them properly and end up spending too much on repairs and replacements.
Face it, sometimes you just don’t feel like opening the windows. Well, a lot can go wrong if you don’t use your A/C unit properly, especially in the wintertime.
The air conditioning is on full blast in the summer without a second thought, but what about in the winter? Here are our winter air conditioning tips.
Air Conditioning Tips
Yes, you can run that air conditioner in the dead of winter, but first, figure out if it’s worth the risks. Let’s say your home is stuffy in the cold seasons. You’re better off opening a couple of windows to regulate the temperature.
But you can also consider using your air conditioner during this time, because it can be used to raise the temperature of your space as well. If your unit includes an integrated heating system, it’s safe to use during the winter.
If you’re feeling iffy about the efficiency optimization, check these things beforehand. Just like your refrigerator, many air conditioning units have ambient sensors. These can be made safe for wintertime by slowing down the condenser fan.
Health Effects of Stagnant Indoor Air
Did you know that stagnant air invites indoor pollutants and can affect people with asthma and other respiratory issues?
Poor quality air inside living or working spaces can cause infections and chronic lung diseases. Those who already have lung issues have it worse. So keep your air filtered and circulating for optimal health.
Tips for Cooling a House Without Air Conditioning
Sometimes all you need is the vent. Go ahead and try opening the air conditioner vent and select “fan-only” in order to circulate that outside air into your space. This will take care of any stuffiness or stagnant air and provide you with fresh air.
Open one window on each floor of your house just about halfway. Over the course of an hour or so, you’ll notice that the air is fresher and you didn’t have to run anything.
Is It Too Cold to Use the Air Conditioner?
As you know, we humans can only stand certain temperature levels. Air conditioners have temperature thresholds too, and this minimum is good to know so you don’t damage your unit. This is true no matter what brand or model you’re operating.
This limit is 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). If the outside air is below this, do not turn on your air conditioner. If you accidentally do, your AC unit’s inner coils will freeze, and the oil will thicken too much to work within the unit.
These things will most likely damage your AC. So, all in all, it’s generally a bad idea to run your beloved AC during the cold winter months. There are a lot of risks involved when opening those windows could pose a lot less costly problems for you.
Take a look at the owner’s manual. You won’t usually see them specifically say not to use it during these times, but they sometimes allude to it. Also, use common sense to tell you how far you should push your unit.
Tips for Central Air Conditioning
Cold air could damage your outdoor central air conditioning unit if you run it in the winter. There are exceptions if it’s one that also acts as a heater.
One reason they can be damaged during cold weather is that compressors have heavy-grade oil, which helps them run smoothly during the summer months. This will thicken even more during winter, slowing it down too much to operate.
It may have a low ambient sensor, which keeps the unit from turning on during wintertime. If you try to turn it on yourself, it could also ruin your unit.
Another way it could be damaged is if your compressor heats up too much. You just have to understand the simple fact that the lower the temperature, the more difficult it is for your compressor to work. If your outdoor unit gets below the temperature limit, it could be seriously damaged.
Remember to get an HVAC warranty on your air conditioning unit. This will lower your breakdown costs. If you run into technical problems, consider these central air conditioning troubleshooting tips.
Can I Use My Air Conditioner as a Heater?
If you live in a place where there are just as many hot days as cold each year, utilizing your AC as a heater is very efficient and convenient. Don’t bother purchasing two units when you can have both in one. Save yourself some money!
If your cooling appliance can pump the warm air out, it can pump it in. It’s a matter of temperature regulation and concentration, and to do this, you’ll need something called a reversing valve. Coolants can work in the opposite way so the cold air can be pushed outdoors at the same time hot air is pushed in.
Now you know several air conditioning tips and risks. Keep it above 60°F, and if you can, get a unit that does both heating and cooling. Mild winters are just fine, but if you’re experiencing major temperature fluctuations during the year, be extra careful about how you use your air conditioning unit.
Keep your A/C running efficiently by considering the oil consistency and inner workings of the unit. What was it designed for? What are its functions?
Save yourself a lot of money by not damaging it in the first place. Remember to use common sense and read your manual if you have any doubts. It’s harder to replace parts on A/C units, so if it becomes damaged, you might have to purchase a whole new one.
Contact us with any questions or concerns!