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Thread: "Winterizing" Heat Pumps (i.e shutting down for 6 months/year)?

  1. #1

    "Winterizing" Heat Pumps (i.e shutting down for 6 months/year)?

    We operate some seasonal vacation cottages, and shut down for the winter. Temperatures are regularly below freezing in the winter, occasionally dropping below 0F. Among other winterization tasks, we drain all the plumbing, put antifreeze in all the drain traps, and throw the main breaker... What issues would there be with shutting down any heat pumps we might install (e.g., mini-splits or water heaters) for 6 months each year? (we don't have any, yet...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    58,180
    None that I'm aware of. Some folks might cover the outdoor units if they will not be used just to keep them clean and free of debris, but care about condensation and rusting of ferrous components has to be considered. Keep in mind that many mini-splits will operate down below zero F, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    11,164
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Thorpe Allen View Post
    We operate some seasonal vacation cottages, and shut down for the winter. Temperatures are regularly below freezing in the winter, occasionally dropping below 0F. Among other winterization tasks, we drain all the plumbing, put antifreeze in all the drain traps, and throw the main breaker... What issues would there be with shutting down any heat pumps we might install (e.g., mini-splits or water heaters) for 6 months each year? (we don't have any, yet...)
    My heat pumps here in TN run all winter and the temperature is often below freezing and occasionally below 0. (I remember -10 one year.) The heat pump switches to auxiliary strip heaters when needed which is not often. All works well. If I don't want to pay for the power for the aux heaters I simply turn the thermostat down. (I usually keep it 68 or below in the winter.) I never do anything to it but change the filters and get the system checked once a year for freon, etc.

    If in doubt, maybe give you HVAC company a call.

    Your comment about draining the plumbing reminds me of a house in the neighborhood that sat vacant one winter. The realtor hired a service to drain and winterize the pipes. I watched them come and work on the house. Unfortunately they came about 2 weeks after a hard freeze but conveniently back dated the winterizing certificate they tacked to the door to about a month earlier. The people who eventually bought the house had to rip out the walls and replace nearly every water pipe in the house...

    JKJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Millstone, NJ
    Posts
    504
    The only thing I would look into is draining the pump or trap on your evaporator(indoor). If it has a pump pull out the tubing going into it and fully drain it and put it back together for next year. Most will have a mini pump in them and they are about $150 or so to replace and they are cheep plastic. If the units have a gravity drain it may have a trap this can be blown out.

    The rest of the system will be fine.

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