At American Air & Heat, we specialize in doing air conditioning and heating repairs and maintenance in Oviedo, FL, and we also handle new installations. Today’s topic is going to be all about your AC system and what you should do with it during the winter months. This is especially relevant for Central Florida since you might not think it ever gets cold enough here to turn your air conditioning unit all the way off. However, whenever the outside temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s exactly what you should do.
What Happens If It’s Less Than 60 Degrees?
Some people don’t seem to ever turn their air conditioning off. Until now, perhaps you’ve been one of them. Whether that’s because you have a health condition that makes you feel too hot or it’s simply a comfort preference, it can become a problem, even for Central Florida. That’s why the majority of HVAC companies recommend that you do not turn your AC on if the temperature dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to rush home to turn it off if the weather takes an unexpected turn. However, it does mean that you won’t want to leave your air conditioner running for a long time in colder weather.
If you leave your air conditioner running when it’s too cold outside, you risk getting frozen coils and compressor failure. Both of these things will cost you money that there’s really no good reason to spend. Additionally, never test your AC unit until at least three consecutive days have passed without the temperature dropping below 60. Again, it would be a shame to perform a test and end up damaging your unit.
What Should I Set My AC to During the Winter?
Running your air conditioner in the colder months simply isn’t a good idea. Condensation can build up on your cooling coils, for instance. If this happens, there’s a decent chance that your air conditioner could end up with the coils freezing. Another issue is that the compressor lubrication can become thicker than normal during cold weather. This will keep your compressor from being properly lubricated, which could cause it to overheat. In other words, turning your AC off during the winter will keep it in much better shape and can save a ton of money on repairs.
What Temperature Is Best to Use During the Winter?
If you use a reversible heat pump for cooling as well as heating, you’ll want to ensure that it’s set between 68 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The best temperature to shoot for is 68 degrees, though. In fact, if you keep your system set at 68 degrees during the winter, you’ll enjoy up to a 15% reduction on your energy bill.
How to Prep Your Air Conditioner for the Winter
You’ll want to begin by turning your AC off once the outdoor temperature drops. Additionally, it’s a good idea to make sure your air conditioner receives any necessary repairs. It’s important that you don’t simply turn off your AC and forget about it. If your air conditioner needs a repair, do not wait until spring to address the issue. You might think this won’t be a big deal, but any existing problem can only be worsened by putting off the necessary remedy. Plus, won’t it be nice to have your AC fully operational once it gets warm again?
Should I Cover My Air Conditioner During the Winter?
People have been debating whether to cover their AC units or not for almost as long as air conditioners have existed. Those who live in the Oviedo area of Central Florida don’t really have to worry about this, but that’s even more reason for us to discuss the topic.
The primary reason that people cover their AC unit is to prevent it from getting hit with snow and other debris. Because it almost never snows in Central Florida, this precaution isn’t nearly as important. Even if it were to snow, though, HVAC manufacturers typically do a very good job of ensuring these units can withstand any snow or cold that comes their way.
If you still decide to cover your unit, be sure to never cover up its sides. Doing so could lead to moisture getting trapped, which can cause the internal parts to become rusted and corroded. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to use your air conditioner on the first hot day of the year and discovering it no longer works. You can help yourself avoid this heartbreak by being certain the sides of your unit remain uncovered.
Make Sure You Turn the Power Switch Off
Something that happens all too often is that a homeowner relies upon their air conditioner to turn off when it gets too cold. Although this will happen, it’s also critical that you shut off the power. Otherwise, your air conditioner could still come on periodically throughout the winter, even if it’s colder than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So, for example, if you have a traditional HVAC unit, flip the switch to either “Off” or “Heat.” This will ensure that the air conditioning portion of your unit does not come on.
How Do I Get My AC Unit Ready for Warmer Weather?
Just as you need to do some prep work to your air conditioning unit before wintertime, you’ll also need to do some prep work before turning it back on. Your best bet will be to hire a professional HVAC expert. That way, you’ll know that everything will be handled correctly.
After the temperature climbs back above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and is poised to stay there, contact us at American Air & Heat to perform the following services:
- Clean or replace filters
- Clean the condenser coils
- Clear and clean any debris
- Inspect the coolant lines
- Test the unit
Central AC Repairs Are Meant for Professionals Only
Doing repairs on a central air conditioning system may seem easy, but the presence of a sealed refrigeration system means it is definitely not a DIY job. Always turn to HVAC professionals to ensure your unit will work properly. In fact, doing anything else will void your warranty.
Keep Your Air Conditioner in Fantastic Shape
Getting regular AC maintenance is a proven way to avoid more expensive repairs. Our technicians at American Air & Heat perform air conditioning and heating maintenance, so be sure to contact us to schedule an appointment. Other services we perform include air conditioning repairs and installations, heating repairs and installation, indoor air quality assessment and correction, and duct cleaning and repair. We can also look after your heat pump or thermostat. You can join our Home Comfort Club to have regular preventative maintenance performed by one of our NATE-certified HVAC experts. We take pride in our work and have been in business for more than 26 years. We’ve also earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
When your air conditioning in Oviedo or anywhere else in Central Florida needs professional attention, American Air & Heat is here to help! Contact us today for assistance!