AC units are crucial to keeping our homes cool during the summer. However, if your home gets stuffy or hot during the winter, you may still be tempted to run the AC and cool yourself off. While it is possible to run your AC when the weather is cold, you should use it with caution. AC units can work fine in warm weather, cold temperatures can do a number in the inner and outer workings of your air conditioner.
While you can still run your air conditioner during the winter, there are some signs of damage that you should watch out for. For efficient use of air conditioners, you should pay attention to these signs before your AC unit takes on serious damage:
During the summer, the compressor within your AC unit runs as it should. When the weather gets cold, your compressor will have to work twice as hard, which can lead to overheating.
Using your air conditioner too often during the winter can cause irreversible damage to the compressor. If you do choose to run your AC in the winter, make sure to give it regular breaks to avoid overheating the compressor.
Loss of Lubrication
Lubricants are responsible for keeping the compressor running smoothly. During the winter, these lubricants can freeze up and become too thick to function well. This makes your AC unit’s compressor more likely to break down.
These lubricants freeze up extremely quickly in cold weather. Once they become too thick, they are no longer effective at cooling down your compressor.
Cooling Coils Becoming Frozen
Your air conditioner will naturally drip water from within the machine. This is the condensation that naturally builds up in the outside unit. This water can quickly freeze during cooler months, leading to severe damage to your outside AC unit.
This water can gather around the cooling coils inside of the unit, which can easily become frozen. This can easily damage the coils over a short period of time. If the coils become frozen, the machine can overheat, as there is nothing inside of the machine working to cool it off.
If you happen to notice ice building up on your outdoor unit, you should shut off the AC right away. This will give the machine some time to thaw out. If the ice doesn’t thaw, then you should avoid using the machine for a while to avoid further damage.
Damage to Sensors
Your AC unit has a built-in temperature sensor that tells it when it should stop running. In order to run your AC unit during the winter, this sensor has to be overridden. By overriding that sensor and running your AC unit during the winter, you can cause it to become ineffective in the future.
What to Do Instead of Running the AC
It’s fine to have your AC unit cooling your home on occasion during the winter. However, there are better ways that you can cool down your home without risking damage to your air conditioner.
The easiest way to cool down certain rooms in your home is to crack open a window. This will allow the cool air outside to bring the room down to a normal temperature. If the stuffy room doesn’t happen to have a window, fans can work to bring down a room’s temperature. Leave the room’s door open so that the warm air can escape the room while you run the fan to help get rid of the stuffy atmosphere. For overly humid rooms, dehumidifiers can help. Simply place the unit in whatever room has gotten too humid and set it to run for a while.
With these air conditioning tips for homeowners, you can feel safer while using your AC during the winter. Keep these air conditioner tips in mind the next time you play on cooling down your home.