Just read some advice to turn power off / on on outside condenser of A/C--off in the winter to save the "heater" and back on in spring, 24 hrs before cranking up the cooling with the thermostat. Is this for ALL makes?
Thank you for your question. It is unnecessary to turn off power to the outside ac unit during the winter season if it is not going to be used. Power is always available, but it is not being used. What is advisable is to have a spring check up done on the system to make sure your system is ready to go for the summer. Many problems can be detected ahead of time before the system fails.
thanks for the expert advice, but I'd hoped for just a tad more explanation. e.g., why did the advice on once a year hvac maint from managemylife just tell me that I should have turned the unit off in the winter, when you say it isn't necessary? If I don't need to, then why the assumption that "of course" I had?
I am not assuming that you had followed the advice that was given to you. If anything, it is bad advice given the function that the crankcase heater is there to perform.
In colder climates, the crankcase heater is a required component of the air conditioning system. Because of the cooler temperatures, the outdoor AC unit is not going to be running for months at a time. During this time, if the crankcase heater is not powered on and able to prevent refrigerant from sitting in the compressor crankcase. The oil that is in the refrigerant will break down and dissolve.
When the compressor starts up again the next spring or summer, the oil has lost a considerable amount of its viscosity. Thus effectively shortening the life of the compressor.
Will turning off power to the outdoor AC unit save money? No, not any amount that you will see on your bill. Will it damage the condensing unit? Yes, in the long term it will cause unnecessary wear and tear and it will cost you more in the long run.
http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/articles/authored/off-the-power-to-your-ac runs counter to your informative answer. You sound like you know more about the physics and chemistry of hvac. Anything you can do to get the "article" referenced above amended would probably be a help to those like me who are consumers of conflicting advice. thanks again for the info.
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