My home’s A/C has an external circuit breaker. Do I need to switch it off for the winter?


There is no need to switch off the external breaker serving the outside condensing unit. I have never done so in 40 years at our house. I have never heard of anyone doing so, and I have never heard it recommended. In our installation the external box adjacent to the condensing unit contains a double pole switch, not a breaker, but I only shut this off to service the unit. However, my experience is in the relatively warm winters of Dallas, Texas.

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    Also, many compressors (especially those for heat pumps) have a small heater to keep the compressor oil liquified. – Tyson Oct 10 '18 at 12:34

No, there's no benefit to it whatsoever. Also, on most split systems, the compressor is still in use when the heat is on. For split gas systems, they normally "steal" power from a leg on the compressor circuit to power the blower.

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No, you should not be doing that. It will have no advantage to switch it off. Many of the houses run for long time with external circuit breaker that is working along the HVAC system.

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  • I'm inclined to upvote, but I don't understand your second sentence. You might revise for clarity. – isherwood Oct 10 '18 at 17:37

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