When Should I Switch From AC to Heating?
TechXpert verified by Ken K
You can switch from AC to heating once your AC has completed its current cycle. 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.
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.
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