Preventing Mechanical System Damage After Downtime

Here in the Midwest, winters can be extremely cold and very long. With an early freeze and late thaw, this winter was no exception. Shutdown of outdoor mechanical equipment, such as air conditioning systems, is necessary during the harsh winter months, but that downtime for an extended period could lead to system damage when switched back on.

Consider the effects of downtime to your outdoor mechanical systems:

  • I recently spoke with an HVAC expert at a nationally-recognized engineering firm. He indicated that equipment that sits dormant for six months or more can experience more mechanical breakdown issues. Like a car that has sat idle for too long, mechanical equipment can freeze up between the time of shutdown and the moment of startup several months later.
  • Hailstorms may have occurred during the downtime, which can heavily damage condensing units. If these units continue to run in a damaged state it could lead to further damage of the compressor motors.
  • Unwelcome guests, such as vermin, may have nested in your equipment during the downtime.

To counteract any potential resulting damage, an authorized service provider should always be contacted to look over your systems and put them back in operation. Most manufacturer websites can help you find a recommended service provider in your area who can get your systems up and running properly.

By taking proper steps in starting up your equipment after a dormant period, you prevent subsequent losses to those systems, provide comfort for your employees and customers, and likely reduce maintenance costs in the future.


As a mutual insurance company, we operate and exist for the benefit of our policyholders. For more than 100 years, Society has been helping businesses overcome the unexpected with comprehensive coverage packages and outstanding claims handling, underwriting and risk management.

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