Help: When Should I Switch From Heat to AC?

As temperatures fluctuate during seasonal changes, you might find yourself living in a home that is too cold at night and too warm during the evenings. So is it okay to toggle between AC and heat settings throughout the day? Here is a look at switching your thermostat from heat to AC settings. 

Is it Okay To Switch Back and Forth Between Heat and AC?

The whole purpose of your HVAC system is to keep your home comfortable. While many homeowners think they need to stick to one setting or the other, this is not true. As long as you are careful in your setting changes and take good care of your system, you are fine to toggle between AC and heat settings. 

When Turning on the Heater

Horizontal photo of female hand adjusting bathroom fan timerSometimes, the temperatures in early spring slip backward, and you may find yourself uncomfortably cold on a spring day. It might also get cold at night after the sun sets, even when the temperature is high during the daylight hours. When this happens, it is completely okay to kick your heating system back on to keep the temperatures regulated in your home. 

However, your AC temperatures are likely set high to save money on your AC usage. If you keep those same high settings when switching back to heat, your system will start operating heavily. Remember to adjust your temperature settings accordingly when switching your heater back on.

When Turning on the Air Conditioning

As spring temperatures heat up, you might find that your home becomes increasingly warm. You can begin switching on your air conditioning system as soon as your home needs it.

When you turn on your air conditioner, turn the setting up to the highest comfortable temperature. Your heat settings may be lower to keep your system from overworking. If you maintain those same low temperatures when you switch to AC, your system will kick into high gear. 

After any signs of cold backtracking are gone, it will be safe for you to leave your air conditioner on without needing to toggle back to heat settings.

When Toggling is an Issue

HVAC expert working on a systemWhile switching back and forth between heat and AC should not be an issue, there may be problems when your system does not receive the proper care it needs. For example, if you do not complete regular maintenance, your system is more likely to encounter a problem when asked to work under these changing conditions. One failed part can shut down your entire HVAC system. Your heating and cooling unit will be especially vulnerable when switching on and off repeatedly. Routine maintenance helps check that all of your system’s parts are working properly. A professional will detect irregularities early and repair any present issue before it becomes a problem. 

It is also essential that you make sure your system is ready for the new season. Did you get it geared up for spring with proper refrigerant levels, a clean drain line, and a fresh filter? Is your compressor, fan, and motor clean and ready to go? If not, an experienced technician can get your air conditioning system ready to work.

As we mentioned earlier, toggling may also become a problem when you do not mindfully set the temperature each time you switch your system over. However, with the right care and attention, you can safely and easily interchange your thermostat between heating and cooling settings.

Tips to Give Your System a Break

When the temperatures outdoors are comfortable, you may be able to save a little bit of money and keep your home comfortable by minimizing your HVAC use. Here are some energy-saving tips you can take advantage of.

Saving on Air Conditioning Costs

outdoor fanIn the early spring, you might find your home is only mildly warm. Instead of switching your AC system on right away, you may consider turning on your fan and closing the blinds to keep out the warmth. These tactics will only work to make you feel cooler, they will not actually change the temperatures of your home. So, for example, leaving a fan on in a room you are not in will waste energy rather than saving it. 

You might also consider opening your windows in the morning when it is a little cooler and letting the breeze in. You can trap this cooler air indoors by closing your windows just before the outdoor temperatures start warming up.

Saving on Heat Costs 

On the days when your home feels a little bit cooler, you might consider opening the blinds and letting the sun in rather thank kicking on your heating system.

You can also reverse the switch on your fan. Instead of blowing cold air downwards, a reversed fan will carry some of the colder air upwards, helping your room feel warmer. Safely using small space heaters can also help you cut your energy costs when the temperatures are mildly cool.

Saving on Costs Year-Round: Home Efficiency

Energy efficiency audit in RaleighFinally, it is most important to make sure that your home itself is efficient. If your home is letting out the comfortable air your HVAC system produces, your system will seem ineffective. Your heating and cooling system will also have to work much harder to keep temperatures regulated, which will drive energy costs up. A Home Performance Audit can help you detect inefficiencies in your home. You can then work with an energy expert to repair these problems. This process can help your home feel more comfortable, reduce your energy bills year-round, and reduce the amount of stress on your HVAC system.

Newcomb and Company: HVAC Help

If you need help getting your HVAC system ready for anything, the experts at Newcomb and Company are here for you. Our efficiency experts can also ensure that your home is ready for year-round efficiency. We were voted the Best in the Triangle, and we proudly serve homes and businesses throughout Raleigh, Wilmington, and surrounding cities. Contact our local heating and cooling professionals today to get started!

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