When the seasons change, some days it’s hard to know whether to wear a sweater or a short-sleeve shirt. In the South, sometimes you need both! But what about your heating and cooling systems? Should you change its average temperature once you feel the weather change? Or wait?
The honest answer is, “it depends on where you live.” There is no particular month or time to change your system over to heat. However, some steps make the transition between seasons easier for your system. We’ve gathered some valuable tips that will help preserve and protect the life of your AC system, especially as cooler weather comes rolling in.
1. Don’t Be Too Quick to Touch That Thermostat
While it might be tempting to flip that thermostat on the first cool night, try to hold off. The nights might be chilly, but you’ll want to wait until the days are too. Instead, opt for simply turning off your system altogether. This will ensure you don’t turn your heat on too soon and cause problems with your system. Or the same with cooling your home before doing regular maintenance and end up with a broken ac unit.
Of course, don’t let yourself freeze. But if your days are still sweltering (I’m looking to my Southern friends here), you can use those cool nights as an excuse to get cozy. Whip out the extra blankets and hot tea and curl up.
Constantly flipping between hot and cold air might cause short-cycling, which means your system turns off and on too quickly. Short cycling can shorten the lifespan of your unit and increase your energy bills. If this occurs, you’ll need to contact your local Tampa HVAC service to remedy the issue.
2. Change Your Filters with the Season
Changing your system’s filters can significantly help preserve the life of your unit. Plus, it’ll ensure your home stays at the temperature you’ve set.
When filters get clogged, it becomes more difficult for an HVAC system to circulate correctly. The unit has to work harder to achieve your desired temperature. You can prevent an overworked unit by changing your filters every 60 to 90 days. If you have a large family or pets, you may want to change it every 30 to 45 days.
This proactive care helps take any unnecessary strain off your system during seasonal changes. A filter change makes it so your unit isn’t using excessive energy and power.
3. Inspect Your Home for Drafts
You might not realize it, but people often waste hundreds of dollars a year on heating bills due to drafts. When the weather gets cold enough for you to turn the heat on, be sure to inspect your home for drafts.
Take extra care and be sure to check out the following spots:
- Window seals
- Window frames
- Around electrical outlets
- Light fixtures
- Where walls meet the ceiling and floor
- Near any weather stripping
Not only can cold air leak in through these areas, but your hot air will leak out. This results in additional strain on your HVAC system. If your unit works too hard for too long, expensive repairs or total replacement is just around the corner.
Checking for drafts will take some time, but it’s best to be aware of any issues right away. You’ll save on energy costs and preserve your HVAC unit.
Get Your HVAC Unit Ready
There’s a bit of prep that goes into the changing of seasons. New wardrobe, new routine — the list goes on. If you don’t consider your HVAC unit an essential part of this prep, you should.
For an easy action plan, refer to the tips discussed above. These tips will help you save money and extend the life of your heating and cooling system.