When the summer winds down, one thing that most people look forward to is the end of using their air conditioner. While it’s true that you won’t need to run your air conditioner as often during the winter, there are certain situations when it may make sense to run it occasionally. To better understand how to use your air conditioner properly during the winter, it’s vital to understand the capabilities of your air conditioner and how you can use it to keep your home safe and comfortable when the weather is cooler.
One good reason to run your air conditioner in the winter is to remove humidity from your home’s interior. In addition to cooling the air, your air conditioner removes humidity through condensation. Since your house is tightly closed during the winter, water vapor from respiration, dishwashing, bathing, and cooking can build up in the air, leading to an overall soggy feeling that can damage certain finishes in your home. By running your air conditioner for a few minutes, you can remove this buildup so that the air feels more comfortable.
Using Heat From Outside
If your home is equipped with an air-source heat pump, then you’ll be essentially running your air conditioner all winter, even when the system is producing warm air. A heat pump extracts heat energy from the outdoor air by lowering the pressure of the refrigerant when it’s in the condenser unit outside. If you don’t yet have a heat pump, you should know that this is a highly efficient way to heat your home that can help you save on your utility bills.
Testing for Proper Operation
Although HVAC equipment is quite durable, it does have a finite service life. If your equipment is getting older, you may want to turn on your air conditioner once or twice during the winter just to make sure it’s operating properly. If you notice a problem, you can enlist the help of an air conditioning services company to either repair or replace your air conditioner before the warm weather hits. This early action will prevent you from suffering in the sweltering heat without air conditioning.
A great way to use your HVAC system during the winter is to simply circulate air throughout your home. Even if the temperature outside doesn’t require heating or cooling inside, you can still run the blower fan so that the air in your home doesn’t become stale. This will ensure that the air is filtered consistently, helping to remove excess dust and odors.
Check the Temperature
When you run your air conditioner during the winter, it’s always important to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent damage to your air conditioner. While heat pumps can run in any type of weather, a traditional air conditioner needs temperatures of 65 degrees or higher to run properly. Running the system in temperatures below this threshold could cause the system to freeze up, resulting in extensive repairs. When the temperature is high enough, though, your air conditioner can be a great tool in your winter comfort arsenal.