Spring is here and the weather is getting warmer. Time to turn on the AC again. Will all be OK, though? After all, it’s been sitting outside through the winter weather. Could that damage the system or make it run less efficiently? Here’s how cold-weather climates affect air conditioners.
Your AC During the Winter
Fortunately, South Texas winters are fairly mild, so you have little to worry about. However, even in more extreme cold-weather climates, your HVAC system shouldn’t have problems. Since the unit is outdoors, it’s designed to withstand the elements, including snow, rain, and even minor hailstones.
One thing that can be a problem is icicles. If large icicles form directly above your outdoor AC unit fall on it, they can cause damage. Since it rarely even snows in Corpus Christi, you probably don’t have to worry. However, if you are concerned, simply make sure your unit isn’t placed directly under the eaves of your house, where icicles can form.
Protecting Your AC
Some people like to cover their air conditioners when they’re not in use, to make sure nothing gets in to damage them. This is inadvisable. A covering will trap moisture inside, which would ordinarily evaporate. This can damage the system.
If you want to protect your AC during the winter, make sure that all dried leaves, twigs, and other debris are cleared away within a 2 square foot radius around the unit. Also, trim back any branches from nearby trees.
Using Your AC During the Winter
Your AC won’t break after sitting dormant during the winter months, but can it be used during that time? Don’t risk it. If the ambient temperature is lower than the lowest setting on your thermostat (usually 60 degrees), turning the AC on can damage the system.
Additionally, the lubrication in your condenser gets thick in cold weather, which can keep the system from running efficiently. Wait until summer, when it regains its regular viscosity.
To learn more about how your AC works in cold-weather climates, contact us at CCAC. We take care of Corpus Christi’s home-comfort needs.