Winters in Minnesota can range from frigidly cold to mild weather and, on a rare occasion, have warm days. So, is it safe to run your air conditioner in winter? Unfortunately, there isn’t a definite answer for yes or no. We’ll go over some of the reasons you may want to run it in winter and whether not you actually should.
Most of the time during the winter, you are going to want you use your furnace but we want you to know that short term usage of your air conditioner is going to be alright. For the most part, people believe that an air conditioner can only cool down rooms, but some modern air conditioners can help with warmth even in the winter. A reversible A\C or a ductless heat pump can be used to warm up your living space. An A\C with a reversible setting can alleviate the stuffy, overly hot feeling that happens sometimes in the winter and make your house more comfortable. Using your A\C in winter is different than in the summer and with have differences in cost and in efficiency. Many apartment dwellers can become too hot on higher floors with the ambient heat from other units and may have more reason to run their A\C in winter. Both houses and apartments should not run it long term and instead, use it temporarily to refresh your home. While you can use it, keep these things in mind so you don’t get any nasty surprise bills.
Many air conditioners have recommendations for how to properly use the device, both for winter and for summer, and as such have minimum thresholds of operation. Using the unit outside or beyond those thresholds may cause them to not work as intended or may even cause damage. Most manufacturers advise against using your air conditioner if it is under 65 degrees outside. Running it below that temperature can result in damage like coils freezing, damage to moving parts and thickening of lubricant. Damage is never fun to have to deal with. Many modern air conditioners have a freeze protection mode to mitigate damage during the winter. This mode has other names like minimum heat, low heat or even others depending on your make and model. The A\C will heat slow and low during the winter with a small amount of power to make sure the your home doesn’t freeze and become damaged itself from freezing pipes, damaged to sensitive electronic equipment, or keeping personal belongings in good shape. Using this in conjunction with a smart phone app to monitor it while you’re one vacation is definitely a plus.
Using your air conditioner in winter may seem counter intuitive but most modern A\C’s can be used for short periods of time. Whether to heat your home, temporarily cool your home, or to reduce stuffiness, you’ve got the okay from us! If you are looking to replace or tune-up your A\C or furnace, give us a call. Nobody likes to be left in the cold and uncomfortable in winter.