Should I Turn My AC Off in the Winter? What You Need to Know

Your air conditioning system is crucial for keeping you cool during the summer. Many homeowners wonder, “Should I turn my AC off in the winter?” While it’s possible in some cases, typically running your AC during the winter is harmful.

In this article, our team at World Class Services discusses everything you need to know about turning your AC off in the winter months. 

At World Class Services, we offer AC repair in Columbus, OH, no matter the problem’s severity. Contact our highly trained HVAC team today with your questions or concerns regarding AC repair at 614-412-0750.

Effects of Cold Weather on Your AC

The answer to “Should I turn my AC off in the winter?” depends on the type of system you have. Traditional AC systems can still operate during cold weather but may create problems. Refrigerant coils may freeze, and moving parts may stop working, creating further damage and potential replacement needs.

Your unit will activate on days with warmer weather, causing water to drip from the condensate drain line. As cold weather returns, this water will freeze and damage interior components. 

Energy efficiency problems may also arise. Your air conditioning unit works best in summer temperatures, so you may suffer from suddenly increased utility bills if it runs in cold weather.

Running Your AC Unit in the Winter

Heat pumps and reversible AC systems allow air conditioner operation even in the winter. If you have one of these cooling options, asking, “Should I turn my AC off in the winter?” is unnecessary. Heat pumps allow heating in the winter and cooling in the summer but can switch when required. 

Reversible AC and heat pump systems generate lower energy bills as they transfer heat without creating it. You can save significantly on heating and cooling by getting a unit that provides heating and cooling power.

Some air conditioning units have a freeze protection mode that prevents the system from freezing and your home’s temperature from dropping severely. This lower power mode prevents frozen pipes while you’re not home.

Harmful Temperatures for Your AC System

Some low temperatures are too harmful to your air conditioner. Running your AC unit when temperatures are lower than 60°F often warrants costly repairs. As the refrigerant’s cooling ability relies on warm outdoor temperatures, many cooling systems won’t work correctly in cold temperatures. 

It’s best to wait to run your AC system on days when temperatures are warmer than 60°F to avoid unnecessary damage. Ice should have enough time to melt away from the unit to keep moving parts operable and allow enough airflow.

AC System Winter Preparation

Performing general AC maintenance before winter arrives can help keep your unit in top shape. You should clean the unit’s coils, replace dirty air filters, and remove large pieces of debris from around and inside the exterior unit. 

You should also get an air conditioning inspection and maintenance from a licensed professional. HVAC technicians know what issues to look for and have the equipment to restore your unit completely. They can make effective repairs that prevent premature replacements and other costly problems.

Covering Your Outdoor AC Unit

Another topic that goes hand in hand with “Should I turn my AC off in the winter?” is whether you should cover your outdoor unit. While your air conditioning system can withstand Ohio’s frigid temperatures, covering the top of your outdoor unit will prevent debris, ice, and snow from accumulating on the unit. Avoid covering the sides to allow for adequate airflow and moisture removal.

Our AC Maintenance Service

At World Class Services, we provide high-quality preventative AC maintenance in Westerville, OH, and the surrounding areas. We handle the cleaning process and alert you to any significant problems. No matter your location in the area, we can successfully prepare your AC unit for tolerating winter weather.

With our transparent maintenance service, you’ll get individualized care for your specific system. We’ll never provide services you don’t need or charge hidden fees. Our respectful, knowledgeable team cleans up your property after performing maintenance and confirms your satisfaction.

Whether you need one-time maintenance or yearly appointments, we offer flexible options that meet your needs. The World Class Services team provides reasonable pricing and financing options to combat high maintenance and repair costs.

Speak to Our HVAC Technicians Today

Don’t damage your AC system unknowingly by running it in the winter. Get a specific answer regarding “Should I turn my AC off in the winter?” and schedule the proper maintenance from our World Class Services team in Westerville, OH, today. Call our expert HVAC technicians at 614-412-0750.

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