Will Air Conditioner Spoil If Not Used For A Long Time?

seasonal maintenance

Remember that time your pressure washer sat in the basement for two years without using it? In many cases you likely had a difficult time getting it started after sitting for that long. It could even have needed a trip to the repair shop just to get it running again. Well, sometimes Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric is asked if anything bad happens when an air conditioner isn’t used for three or four months or even longer. It all depends if you’re familiar with seasonal maintenance.

Nothing to Worry About

In this case the answer is mostly good news for homeowners. Modern air conditioners are meant to run for years, often running daily for months at a time. As long as the AC receives regular seasonal maintenance and is in good working condition when it’s shut down, you should have no trouble when you turn it back on. However, there are still some precautions to take when you are about to shut an air conditioner down for a long time, or you’re getting ready to restart it.

Air Conditioners Don’t Like Dirt & Dust

One of the few things that does affect an idle air conditioner is a buildup of dirt, dust, and debris. This is especially true in an especially dusty environment like we have here in Lubbock, TX.

If the air conditioner has been idle for a few months here’s a good checklist to follow before turning the thermostat to cool:

  • Inspect the outside compressor. Are there any weeds growing up around it? Has the wind blown in any debris that needs to be removed? There shouldn’t be anything that can block airflow for a distance of at least three feet around the unit. 
  • Are you up to date on maintenance? If air conditioner maintenance wasn’t performed before the AC was shut down, it needs to be done before the air conditioner is restarted. Call Armstrong to make an appointment.
  • Start by running the air conditioner in fan only mode first. Let it run like that for at least 10 minutes. This will help get dust out of the system before setting it to the cool mode.

If you are going to shut the air conditioner down for the season or any extended period of time like a six-month trip overseas, here are a couple steps to take before hitting the off switch:

  • Set the thermostat to fan only and run for 60 minutes. This will help clear out the system.
  • Performing seasonal maintenance now will make it quick and simple to restart the AC later.

The Bottom Line

The key takeaway is that your Lubbock, TX air conditioner should handle long periods of inactivity without a problem, but this is dependent on regular seasonal maintenance either before or after the shutdown. If you notice any sign of a problem when you turn the AC back on, don’t hesitate to call Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric. It’s better to be safe with proactive air conditioner maintenance than risk major expensive repairs a few months later. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more great information.