Can I use air conditioning when it’s cold outside?

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Most people rely heavily on their air conditioning system during the summer months, but often ask us if they can use air conditioning when it’s cold outside. You’ll probably have less need to use the system during the autumn and winter months, but what if you need to test it, or if the inside of your property suddenly becomes too hot? We explain the best time to use your air conditioning system below.

Will air conditioning system work if it’s cold outside?

Air conditioning manufacturers generally advise that if the temperature outside is lower than 60 Celsius, the system could be damaged if turned on to blow cold air for a prolonged period of time. This is because the unit uses a heavy grade oil that lubricates the compressor, and it works best in warmer conditions. When the temperature is low, the oil is thicker and the compressor will not be lubricated sufficiently.

When the temperature is below 60 degrees it makes more sense to open the window if you need to cool the space inside. However, when it is this cool outside, most people will turn on the heating to warm the room, rather than make it cooler.

As an extra protective measure, many modern AC units now come with sensors that will prevent the unit from running if the temperature is too low. This prevents the system from potentially malfunctioning if the compressor oil is over exposed to the cold.

When can I use the air conditioning heating feature?

Some air conditioning systems give you the option to turn on a heat feature to warm the room. Accessing this feature will vary depending on the manufacturer, but it should be easy enough to find by following the instructions. Then you can set the temperature you need and enjoy the warm air it produces. There won’t be an issue using it during the winter as the system would have been specifically designed to manage all kinds of temperatures.

When is the best time to test an AC unit?

Because it is recommended not to turn on your air conditioning to blow cold air during the winter, the best time to test an AC unit is during the warmer seasons.

If you have an issue with the unit and need to test it, wherever possible only try to turn it on when the temperature has been above 60 Celsius for a few days. This will enable the oil to warm up and ensure that the condenser doesn’t have a build-up of ice.

Alternatively, contact a professional air conditioning repair company who will be able carry out the necessary checks without damaging the system.

Do you have an issue with your air conditioning unit?

If you have an issue with your air conditioning system and need professional help, get in touch with AAC today to arrange a free quote and survey at a time that suits you. Email or call 01707 32 55 66.

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