AC Maintenance: What Happens When It’s Not Used for Months?

When it comes to your cooling system at home, your air conditioning unit is mostly used during the summer months. Of course, this makes sense because you need to have a cozy atmosphere and keep your family comfortable inside your home. But come late fall, you’ll likely stop using the unit until the cold winter season ends. 

As such, one frequently asked question among households is: what will happen to the AC unit if it isn’t used for three to four months? In this article, we will answer this crucial question in the following sections:

What happens when your AC isn’t used for three months

While appliances and units aren’t designed to last forever, it’s worth noting that your Air Conditioner can run for decades if properly maintained. In fact, its average life expectancy is between 15 to 20 years. With an advanced model, proper installation, and constant maintenance, it can even last longer than that!

However, referring back to the main question, is it safe to leave your AC unused for about three to four months? The answer is an outright yes! In most cases, cooling units won’t be impacted even if they aren’t used for several months. This is apparent in many households, especially in places where there are winter seasons. 

Yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have to take good care of your unit. In fact, it makes a lot of difference if you practice several key steps before turning it off for the season or starting it up for the first time after months of being idle.

What to do before and after your AC remains unused

To keep your AC unit in top shape and condition, here’s what you need to do before and after it remains unused for months:


  • Have your unit inspected to ensure there aren’t issues before turning it off.
  • Be sure to have it maintained and fixed if there are signs of wear and tear.
  • Make sure it gets cleaned, whether the internal or external components.
  • Ensure that it remains properly installed and safely stored.
  • Protect the exterior parts against the harsh outdoor elements.


  • Check your interior unit and walk outside to inspect the exterior components.
  • Get rid of any debris and clean the compressor unit of your AC.
  • Try to turn on your unit to see if it’s normally working.
  • Get a professional to have it inspected and maintained.
  • If there are notable problems, get them fixed as soon as possible.

What to do when cooling issues arise

Generally, HVAC experts say that your air conditioning unit needs to be serviced at least once a year. In some cases, it’s best to have it inspected and maintained before and after it remains unused for months. That way, you can ensure its optimal performance, overall efficiency, and prolonged lifespan.

Nevertheless, when cooling issues are identified during the inspection, it’s best to have them repaired immediately. This is because even minor damages need to be promptly fixed before they escalate into major damages and lead to costly replacements!


At this point, you now realize that your air conditioning system will not be impacted if it isn’t in use for a couple of months. However, it’s best to follow the tips recommended above to ensure it’s properly used and maintained. If you encounter some cooling issues after it comes out of its idle state, it’s best to contact Legacy Heating and Cooling and we can take good care of it. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your AC unit is in top shape and working order throughout the year!

We provide heating and air conditioning services in Edmonton. If you’re looking to get your air conditioning unit inspected, maintained, or repaired, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

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