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Bringing Comfort Home Since 1989

Older air conditioner units sitting next to home

How Long Can an Air Conditioner Sit Without Being Used?

An air conditioner can generally sit unused for a significant period, such as several months to even a year, without serious issues. However, proper maintenance and preparation before and after long-term inactivity are recommended to ensure it functions correctly when needed.

In the fall, you should clean and cover the outside unit to protect it from winter weather. Throughout the winter season, we also encourage homeowners to clear the area around their outdoor unit, checking to make sure there is no debris buildup and that no animals are attempting to nest or roost in the unit.

Blaze the Bear and tech looking at ac units

Risks of Prolonged Inactivity

Prolonged inactivity can pose several risks to your air conditioning unit. One common issue is the accumulation of dust and debris, which can clog filters and coils, reducing efficiency and increasing energy consumption. Electrical components may become corroded, especially if exposed to moisture, potentially causing shorts or failures upon restarting. Additionally, stagnant moisture within the unit can contribute to mold growth, leading to unpleasant odors and potential health hazards.

Before using your cooling system in the spring, you should uncover it and ensure everything looks clean and in good condition. This is also a great time to replace your air filters. Then, you should test your system, noting any signs of trouble.

Call Blazer Heating, Air, and Plumbing if you notice any of the following warning signs:

  • Strange noises
  • Weak airflow
  • Inconsistent or lack of cooling
  • Bad or musty odors
  • Short cycling
  • High humidity levels

May is also the perfect time to schedule your annual cooling system maintenance visit. By doing so, our team can catch any repair issues and fix them before the summer heat sets in.

Is your AC acting up after not being used all winter? Contact our team online to schedule an AC inspection.