When it's the dead of winter and temperatures are approaching (or below) zero, the last thing you may be thinking about is turning on your air conditioner (AC). After all, you want to keep everyone in the house warm, not freezing to death. However, here are a couple of reasons why you may want to turn on your AC unit a few times during the cold season.
Dry Out Your Home
One of the drawbacks of running the heater in your home is that it does nothing about humidity in your home. Heat travels better when the air is moist, so your furnace is designed to keep as much moisture in the air as possible. This can be problematic if you live in areas where the humidity is high even during the winter because it can encourage things like mold growth or acerbate breathing conditions.
You can combat this a little by turning on the air conditioner in your home every once in a while. Unlike heat, cold air travels better when there's little humidity, which is why AC units remove excess water from the air as part of the process of cooling your home. Turning on the unit will help dry things out in your house, reducing the risk of developing a mold problem or causing moisture damage to the home. As a bonus, running the air conditioner will also help reduce the amount of condensation and fog that forms on the windows, so they'll remain clear enough for you to look through.
However, only turn on your air conditioner when it's not raining or snowing. Otherwise, the moisture from these weather events may find its way into your home and negate your efforts.
Prevent Stagnation and Deterioration
Another reason you may want to occasionally turn on your air conditioner during winter is to help keep things lubricated and prevent the assorted fluids in your air conditioner from pooling and causing problems in the spring and summer when you're really ready to put the machine to use.
For instance, running the AC will force the oil to circulate, so important parts like the compressor will remain lubricated. Sometimes when air conditioners sit unused for a season, the oil will pool away from the parts, causing terrible friction that can damage parts when the machine is restarted. Since repairs can cost thousands of dollars depending on the problem, starting up the AC unit a few times during winter can save you a lot of money in the long run.
To learn more about this issue or to have your air conditioner looked at by a professional, contact a local HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) company, such as Northwest Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.
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