February 16th, 2023

Hello everyone, it’s me, Cosmo! If you’ve read our “Fall HVAC Maintenance” post, you may have been surprised that we didn’t mention covering up your AC unit or turning it off. There’s a reason we didn’t mention these common practices, and it’s not because we forgot about them. It’s because even though a lot of people do these things, they can do more harm than good. Here’s why.

Should I cover up my AC unit for the winter?

No. There’s no advantage in covering up an AC unit – in fact, there are a couple of disadvantages that many people overlook. AC Manufacturers design their products to be durable enough to withstand the elements in harsh conditions. While a cover may prevent some wear and tear to the unit’s exterior, it can be harmful to the unit’s interior.  AC covers trap moisture, making it easier for mold to grow inside the unit. Mold growth is bad anywhere, especially inside an AC unit. Trapped moisture also encourages corrosion, which can damage unit components. A cover will also make the unit more welcoming to rodents and other unwanted guests, because the unit will be warmer than the outside due to its crankcase heater and cover trapping the heat. Even if you’re an animal lover, mice and other pests in your AC unit is something you want to avoid.

Should I turn off the power to my AC unit for the winter?

No. While those of you who are energy-conscious may be accustomed to turning things off when they’re not in use, your AC unit should stay on all winter long. Even when your AC unit isn’t doing any cooling, certain processes are running so that the system will be ready when you need it again.  One particular issue that can arise from powering off your AC unit for the winter is oil dilution. Oil dilution happens when refrigerant dissolves into oil, and has a couple of negative consequences, including making the oil less effective as a lubricant, resulting in increased wear and tear on the unit’s compressors. Most AC units have a system to prevent oil dilution, such as crankcase heater or powered winding. Turning off the AC will prevent this system from running, making oil dilution a very real possibility. Leave the unit powered on.

HVAC Repair in Mercer County, NJ

If you’ve turned off or covered up your AC unit in past years, don’t. Even if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid problems like oil dilution, mold growth, or rodent infestations, don’t press your luck.   Some heating and cooling issues are unavoidable. Don’t risk creating even more problems by misusing your unit. At SG Heating & Air Conditioning LLC, we can address any HVAC issues you might be having, no matter the source. Call us today at 609-448-1273 or fill out this contact form to get your home’s heating and cooling system serviced, up and running!

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