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Is It Bad To Switch Between Heat and AC?


If you’ve been outside, opened a window, or even just checked the local weather anytime in the past month, you’d notice that spring has been approaching—but more of at a slow crawl. It’s warm one day, frigid the next, and as a Chicago homeowner you’re stuck in an endless cycle of never knowing whether to kick on the furnace or the AC!

But should you hesitate about swapping between your two HVAC systems? Does it do any harm to switch between the two consistently? The experts at North Town Home Services are here to help you understand the basics of how to swap, and how to avoid the potential problems it may cause.

Have a question about how well your system is working? Contact North Town Home Services today for HVAC maintenance!

Is It Bad to Use the Air Conditioning System and a Furnace in the Same Day?

In principle, no, it’s not bad at all. Most of the time your HVAC won’t differentiate between the two much, and swapping back and forth won’t break anything or confuse the thermostat. That said, however, there are some important steps to take into account when you find yourself fighting between staying warm and cool in the Chicago area.

Give the System Some Time

The most important thing to understand about trying to swap too fast is that the pressure load in your HVAC equipment is part of a very precise and important balance. If the pressure is thrown out of whack, it can do damage to the air conditioner or furnace, or both. Basically before switching from heat to AC or vice versa, the system needs to return to a true neutral stage, giving the refrigerant time to settle and get back to normal pressure before you start up the opposite cycle.

Failing to give the system time to get back in balance means you catch the refrigerant at high or low pressure, which can (and often will) lock up the compressor. This will almost certainly necessitate a repair, so always be sure to shut off the HVAC unit and give it 5-10 minutes to settle before changing over.

It’s also best to go through the process gradually, making small changes up or down in the thermostat leading up to the changeover in order to reduce wear and minimize the chances of rapidly expanding or contracting components and your ducts.

Be Sure to Stay on Top of Maintenance

Constant on and off is not going to make the unit explode, act crazy, or fail to operate. But it will increase the overall demand and wear on your unit, which just adds one more reason to be sure you’re keeping up with routine annual maintenance service.

A proper professional maintenance ensures your equipment stays in ideal working order, and gives our specialists a chance to catch problems early on, ensuring you always have access to the heating and cooling you need—no matter how crazy the weather outside continues to be!

HVAC Maintenance and Service Agreements in Chicago, IL

Looking for a team of service specialists that offer the cleaning, calibration, and checks your heating and cooling equipment needs? Contact the experts at North Town Home Services! We’ve been serving Chicagoland clients for decades, so when you need contractors you can trust, you can always count on North Town.

Contact us online now to set a date for your tune-up, or dial 847-999-4600 to learn more about our maintenance plans!

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