As Spring continues, you will likely find yourself switching from heat to cool and back to heat on the same day. A few weeks ago, we had a few days of warm weather that spurred a rash of service calls. Homeowners were turning AC units to cool for the first time in months and found that their system wasn’t up to the challenge. Here are a few tips to avoid damaging your AC:
Will Frequently Switching from Heat to Cool Hurt My System
Your heating and air system is designed to switch back and forth to maintain home comfort. Generally, it is safe to switch from heat to cool and vice versa on the same day. There is no need to tough it out. If your home is uncomfortably warm, turn your system to cool for a few hours. It shouldn’t be a problem. Just be sure to:
- Not to shift it back in forth too often.
- Avoid switching back and forth in the same hour.
- Allow your unit to complete its current cycle before making the switch
- Allow the compressor to shut off entirely before changing the thermostat setting and temperature.
- Pay attention to how your system runs during the switch
How Do I Know Something is Wrong
- Watch out for these signs that there may be a problem:
- The air conditioner/heater fail to meet the thermostat setting
- Supply vents blowing cold air when the heat is on and vice versa
- The heating and air conditioning system frequently trips the breaker
- The unit runs constantly whether heating or cooling
- The unit does not turn on when you think it should
- Unit is short cycling
When your heating and air conditioning system engages frequently, but for short intervals, it is called short-cycling. Short-cycling will significantly reduce your system’s efficiency and shorten its lifespan. You can potentially short-cycle your unit if you do not allow it to complete its cycle before switching from heat to cool. If your unit is short-cycling on its own, it is vital you contact a professional HVAC technician as soon as possible.
Maintenance is the Key to HVAC Efficiency and Longevity
If your system is struggling or showing the above signs, it is almost certainly the result of a poorly maintained or aging unit. Short-cycling and other HVAC issues are magnified when heating and air conditioning systems are not properly maintained. Take these few maintenance steps now to ensure your system will be ready for the coming season:
- Regularly change your air filter.
- Check for leaks around the unit, indoor and outdoor.
- Remove debris and maintain proper clearance around the unit.
- Keep vents open and unobstructed.
- Clean outdoor unit fan.
Smooth Sailing Service Plan
The list above is within the capability of most homeowners and will greatly improve your performance. However, there are other checks that should be performed routinely by a licensed HVAC company. Blue Water Climate Control provides full-service maintenance plans that guarantee homeowners the peace of mind of knowing that their systems are being properly and effectively maintained throughout the year. Here are the benefits that come with our Smooth Sailing Service Plan:
- Semi-annual seasonal inspections to perform routine checks.
- 10% off parts and labor on all HVAC repairs – The savings here alone will pay for your annual plan.
- An annual 40-point diagnostic of your entire heating and air system including ductwork.
- Prioritized response to air conditioning repair and maintenance needs
- Never pay overtime fees for those weekend and after-hour emergencies.
- Low monthly payments
- Loyalty plan- Accrue $100/yr toward a replacement heating and air system