Is it bad for your air system to switch between heat and cool?

Here in the Lowcountry, we experience fairly temperate fall and spring seasons. Somedays, however, it may reach 75° while the very next day we might have a freezing night. You may wonder if you need to break a sweat for the sake of taking the best care and going easy on your HVAC system. As long as you follow these practical precautions, you can relax in the cool or snuggle up with the heat while remaining assured that your system will be just fine.

If you are going to switch to the heat at night, just remember to give the unit some time. This means that after your system runs a cycle of cooling, shut it off, and allow the pressure to stabilize. After 10 minutes or so, you can turn on the heat.

This is required because the refrigerant needs time to reset to its starting pressure. If you switch immediately, the pressure could be too high, causing the system to lock up. This can wreak havoc on your unit and cause your energy bill to spike. You will likely even blow a fuse or trip the breaker.

Remember to also only change the temperature by a few degrees at a time. This will prevent the less energy-efficient emergency heat from taking over.

While switching drastically can cause your system to overwork, if you follow the guidelines we mentioned, you won’t have to sweat all day only because it is still very cold once the sun goes down. Have your HVAC system inspected every six months and relax this holiday season!

Photo by Corinne Kutz