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Apr

Why To Not Run Your Air Conditioner In The Winter

AC in winterMany people consider running their Air Conditioning units during the weather for a variety of reasons, such as checking it out to make sure it will run. Prescott Air Conditioning recommends that in cold temperatures you don’t turn on your air conditioner. Let us explain why.

Air conditioning manufacturers and HVAC professionals agree that an outdoor condensing unit should not be run in cold weather for any reason. The reason for this is the oil used to lubricate the compressor. There’s a significant amount of oil in the compressor and it functions like oil in your vehicle’s engine.

Just like engine oil, compressor oil for condensing units has different grades. The oil that is used in central air conditioner compressors is a summer-weight oil since that’s when we normally use our air conditioners and it will stand up to the heat of summer. It can heat up and still provide the compressor with the lubrication and protection required, something lighter grades of oil cannot do. In cold weather, the oil gets thick and makes it unable to meet the lubricating needs of the compressor.

Some newer model central air conditioning units actually have a safety feature with low-ambient temperature sensors that will prevent the compressor from turning on in cooler weather, protecting the unit. A general rule of thumb is that the daytime temperatures are above well above 60 degrees F for at least 2-3 days before running your central air conditioner in order to prevent damage to the unit.

If you have a heat pump unit, that is a bit different since it is designed to provide both heat and air conditioning. Because of the dual purpose, a heat pump has a lighter weight oil and is designed to operate in winter and summer.

When you need diagnosis and repair of your equipment, call Prescott Air Conditioning & Heating Repair Service for “Dependable service, guaranteed!”. To schedule an appointment for fast, professional service, just call 928-308-1254.