There are certain times of the year when the weather gives us whiplash! We layer in the morning, uncover to short sleeves after lunch, then bundle up again at night. Every wardrobe change feels like a cue to bump the thermostat up or down to keep our indoor comfort ahead of the fluctuations.
This dilemma is all too common in our South Carolina climate, and we’re here to let you know it’s okay to run the AC and the heater in the same day if you do it properly. Properly switching between AC and heat avoids damage and unnecessary strain on your systems.
Before you reach to adjust the thermostat over and over, here’s a quick rundown of how to do it without losing efficiency.
How To Switch Between AC and Heat Properly
Here’s how to switch from AC to heat (or vice versa) to avoid damaging your systems:
- Make sure your thermostat is set to AUTO.
- Let the system complete its current cycle on its own.
- When the cycle is complete, switch the thermostat to OFF.
- Wait five minutes before turning on the other system.
- Turn on the other system, but set the temperature within a few degrees of the current temperature.
- Warm or cool gradually.
Switching systems this way allows them to turn off and turn on naturally and without extra strain. Rushing to switch from one to the other can cause the compressor to lock up, the units to run extra hard, or any number of other problems if they’re repeatedly pushed in and out of cycles.
What NOT To Do When Running Heat and AC in the Same Day
When we’re suddenly too hot or cold, it’s tempting to crank the thermostat in the opposite direction. But hastily adjusting the temperature puts a lot of strain on your units.
Here are some things you should NOT do when switching between heat and AC:
- Stop in the middle of a cycle or adjust the thermostat to end the cycle sooner
- Switch to the other system immediately after the current cycle ends
- Adjust the thermostat several degrees from the current temperature
In any circumstance, it’s best to adjust the temperature gradually on your thermostat for optimal efficiency. You may think getting to the desired temperature as fast as possible is more efficient when, in fact, it forces our systems to work harder and use more energy than what’s expended over a gradual period.
Keep Your HVAC Systems in Top Condition With Preferred Home Services
Broad temperature fluctuations are common in South Carolina, and residents often switch between heat and AC. Even when done properly, it gives our systems a workout year after year.
The best way to ensure your AC and heat can keep up safely and efficiently is twice-annual maintenance — once in the spring for your AC and again in the fall for your furnace.
At Preferred Home Services, we offer a Preferred Partner Plan that can keep your HVAC systems in optimal condition to keep up with your comfort needs, no matter the temperature outside.