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Old 07-31-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default Walk In A/C Question

OK,

So I'm finally getting ready to build my walk in à la John Beere with the air conditioning unit to cool it.

I have a question, though. Since I live in Iowa, it gets below freezing in the winter. Has anyone used a standard window air conditioner in a cold weather area? I'm worried that the coils will freeze in the winter, and will ruin the a/c unit.

I'm also considering one of the stand-alone a/c units that only need to vent out, but those are about 3X the price.

Thanks for the help,

drost

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Old 07-31-2008, 10:03 PM   #2
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no one, huh? That's what I was afraid of....

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Old 07-31-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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I had a window AC unit at my apartment, it was left in place all winter, I never tried actually running it in the winter, but it was perfectly happy to just sit there. You could try installing some sort of vent that simply let in cold, outside air during the winter that had a servo that would open and close it when needed.

*edit* I live in Minnesota

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Old 07-31-2008, 11:15 PM   #4
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you can get a cover for the ac unit, but its only to keep the cold air out. it wont damage the ac unit but its good to cover it as it keeps junk out of the unit.

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Old 08-01-2008, 12:06 AM   #5
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I got nothing...

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Old 08-01-2008, 12:12 AM   #6
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It won't hurt it. They're made to be left outside year round. You could even use it to circulate air when its not hot enough to run the cooling part of it.

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Old 08-01-2008, 05:34 AM   #7
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Here are a couple things to consider, with high summer humidity any air transfer into the cooler adds to the cooling load by the increased moisture you will condense on the coils. Water vapor travels from the warm area to the cold area so vapor barrier goes on the outside of the cooler structure to prevent moisture buildup and rot in the framing. The lower the air infiltration into the cooler the happier the cooling unit will be. Air conditioners use a flow restriction tube to meter refrigerant with condensor running 80+ degrees F, when condensor temp falls the inside coil temp goes way below freezing as there is not enough refrigerant flow and compressor heats up from lack of refrigerant flow to cool motor. On commercial units the condensor fan is cycled to maintain high side pressure on cold days, you might be able to partially cover outdoor coil to get enough heat buildup to make AC unit work in winter.

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Old 08-01-2008, 03:37 PM   #8
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Many A/C units have a vent position. If you are using an external temperature controller, you could use that position in the winter.

As far as the A/C unit itself & freezing weather, they can handle it.

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Old 08-01-2008, 05:49 PM   #9
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Is the room below-ground? In that case, cooling it should be a moot point.

However, I'd invest in a dual-stage temp controller so you can run a space heater when the temps get too low.

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Old 08-01-2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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Definitely don't want to run it in the winter. But you can keep it in place all winter it won't hurt it.

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