When Is It Too Cold For An AC Tune-Up? Let The Temperature, Not The Time of Year, Determine When To Get A Tune-Up

Last Updated 12/16/2021

It's spring time and that means the weather is constantly changing...

One day it's rain, one day it's sunny. Another day it's chilly and the next day is seemingly perfect - that's Northern California weather for you!

At this time of year, you'll notice that many AC service companies are pushing sales promotions for AC tune-ups. While spring is the time of year that tune-ups are usually done, the temperature may not be right (just yet) for you to get your AC tuned-up.

You see, air conditioners are only designed to operate within a relatively narrow range of temperatures. The refrigerant selection and part designs assume that the air conditioner would never run below a certain temperature. The minimum temperature can vary between models, but it is usually around 60 degrees F.

The air conditioner is designed to manipulate the properties of the refrigerant between a gas and liquid. When the exterior temperature drops below the minimum designed temperature, the refrigerant starts acting differently. 

This issue can become more prevalent when the seasons are in change. As the weather cools down (especially on cool nights), your air conditioner has the potential to freeze up. AC systems need to cool the air about 18-20 degrees less than you’d like your house temperature to feel. So if it’s cold at night and your thermostat is cranked low, your air conditioner may be frozen by morning.

When there is cold conditions outside, and little to no demand for cooling inside, air conditioning systems just don’t perform properly. It is very difficult to determine whether or not a system is performing adequately or has the correct amount of refrigerant in it during these conditions

Manufacturer’s charging charts and slide charts will be accurate and helpful down to about 55 degrees outdoor temp.

Simply put, you'll want to wait until the weather starts warming up to get your AC tuned and ready for the hot months ahead.

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