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Old 11-12-2014, 10:45 PM   #1
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Exercising your A/C in winter months ?

Hi All,
I've been told over the years that one should run the A/C in your car for a few minutes each month, even in the winter as to keep seals lubed to help prevent freon leakage.
I have an old Armstrong unit (that works great) in my 1966 Ambassador. Should I run it a little during the winter ? Is there any advantage or disadvantage to this ? Is there a potential to freeze something up ? I live in a cold (winter) climate.


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Old 11-13-2014, 07:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Danny Bell View Post
I have an old Armstrong unit (that works great) in my 1966 Ambassador. Should I run it a little during the winter ? Is there any advantage or disadvantage to this ? Is there a potential to freeze something up ? I live in a cold (winter) climate.
It's already 48 years old. If you've never run it in winter before, why start now? Empirical evidence should prove that it's not required.

But if you do decide to run it briefly, wait until the temperatuee is warm enough for the thermostat to actually let it come on. Trying to run it in temperatures lower than the thermostat will go would be pointless. And because of the thermostat, there's no chance you'll freeze it up, because it simply won't run when it's that cold.

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Old 11-13-2014, 07:24 AM   #3
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Most modern cars today will start the A/C compressor when you run the defrosters. Which is why the compressors tend to last longer.
Not sure this is a requirement on none automotive units.

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Old 11-13-2014, 07:47 AM   #4
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The reason for running the AC in a car was the seal on the compressor. Running it was a means of reseating the seal. Hermetically sealed units such as home and Rv units don't need this exercise.

As mentioned above most newer cars subconsciously do this.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:01 AM   #5
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I don't think it is necessary to just run the a/c in the winter just for the sake of running it.
In your car, every time you turn on the defroster the compressor and evaporator/drier are operating. This is what makes the glass clear of fog/mist so quickly.
Our a/c unit is run by default because we have heat pumps- basically the a/c system running in reverse- compressor running. Last year we camped in November and January.
We will probably camp in January this year, too.
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