Sorry, the web browser you're using is not supported by this website.

Please use Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or another browser to access Thank you.

Skip to main content

We use cookies to enhance your experience. For details on how we use cookies, collect data, & how to manage your consent please see our Cookie Policy & Privacy Policy.

When Should I Switch From AC to Heating?

Once the temperature starts falling with the change of the seasons, you’ll want to switch your AC off and switch your furnace on. Take care to avoid any issues with either system when the time comes to make the switch.

Separate But Connected

While your heating and cooling systems may operate separately, they share many important parts. For example, both systems use the thermostat, your home’s ductwork, air filters, and fans to operate.

It’s helpful to know how your systems differ before switching from one to the next, since there can be an unexpected impact.

Make the Transition

As you transition from cooling to heating, here are features and functions to keep in mind:


Besides snow and ice, winter brings cold and dry air. Reduced humidity can affect the efficiency of your furnace. To keep your home as comfortable as possible, consider purchasing a humidifier to help maintain a healthy level of moisture.

Direction of heat

The return registers can be reversed from summer to winter to change the air patterns in a room. In the winter, you want the bottom register to be open to draw the cooler air from the floor. In the summer, open the top return to draw out the hot air from the room.


When you make the switch from your AC to your furnace, you’ll want to consider covering your AC unit, especially if it must weather harsh conditions and freezing temperatures through the winter. It will also help to keep nearby leaves and pine needles from collecting in the bottom of the unit, which can lead to rust.

Energy source

Your AC uses electricity, while your furnace runs by burning oil, propane, or natural gas. Gas and oil are effective forms of heat, but burning these can emit combustion byproducts like carbon monoxide. So before turning on your furnace, check to ensure it’s safe for use (that might require a professional inspection).

A Smooth Switch

The last thing you want is a problem with your furnace when you need it to spring into action. Make the transition a smooth one with regular maintenance, inspection, and testing.

Let's Get It Fixed!

HomeX virtual experts will assess your issue (for free!) and can resolve simple problems.

What Did You Think of This Article?

What Did You Think of This Article?