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Keep Up With The Big Dawg

Making the Switch
15 March 2019

Making the Switch

We’ve reached another awkward time of year. It’s still winter on the calendar, but the temps have been in the 60s and 70s. At night, it’s gotten back down into the 40s. Seems like the Groundhog we all look to for meteorological predictions in February was wrong about 6 more weeks of winter (shocker.. a rodent isn’t qualified to be a weatherman. lol)

Anyway, you have probably already been wrestling with deciding whether or not you want to switch over from heat to AC.  So, that may beg the question. When is the best time to flip that switch?

Really, the question isn’t so much WHEN you should switch, but HOW you do it.

Many believe the myth that switching back and forth from heat to air conditioning will damage your system. It is actually harmless so long as you don’t do it the wrong way.

When your HVAC system is running, it is in a cycle where refrigerant gases are pumped through the system to heat or cool air. If you turn your system off or bump the temperature setting on your thermostat up while the compressor is running, it turns off and interrupts the cycle. If you bump the temp back down or switch over to heat, the compressor will lock up because it has to pick up where it left off in the cycle.

It is also true that you can lock up the compressor by adjusting the temperature setting or switching to heat or air immediately after the compressor shuts off after finishing a cycle.

The system needs time (at least 5 minutes) for the refrigerant pressures to equalize between cycles. Otherwise, the compressor locks up and will draw a high level of amps, which can blow a fuse or trip your breaker.

The proper way to go about switching over without putting strain on your system is to switch your thermostat to “off” after it finishes the cycle it is on. Then, give it 5 minutes for pressures to balance out. After that 5 minutes is up, switch on the AC (or heat. Depends on what you’re switching from).

Here are a couple of helpful tips for you when making the transition:

  1. Don’t put unnecessary strain on your system by making drastic shifts in temp setting. Turning your AC on and bumping it down to the lowest possible setting does NOT cool your home any faster. If you do that, the system will have to run longer than needed to reach that temp setting, raising your energy bills and putting your system at risk of freezing up. Instead, turn it down gradually. When you first switch over, turn it down 2-3 degrees, and keep lowering it 2-3 degrees at a time with the needed time for pressures to lower between cycles.
  2. It doesn’t matter when you switch over to AC, but it is a good idea to do it before the weather starts getting unbearably hot and humid. As the weather gets hotter, more people start turning their AC on, and as they do, they discover problems. HVAC service providers get so busy trying to keep up with the demand for repairs and service calls that people end up waiting, some for days at a time, with no relief from the heat. The sooner you switch on your air conditioner, you will ensure this doesn’t end up happening to you.

And last, but certainly not least, here is a friendly reminder that we are running full speed ahead booking Spring and Summer tune ups. Book today if you haven’t yet by calling us, visiting our website, emailing us, or messaging us on social media.

web:  http://www.boilingspringshvac.com (click the get started tab at the bottom)

email: boilingspringshvac@gmail.com

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We hope you have found this tidbit helpful!

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