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When Should You Switch From AC to Heat? Is Your Heating System Ready?

Autumn brings a fluctuation in temperatures. In the cool morning hours, we wear jackets or sweaters, but by the afternoon, we’re wiping sweat from our brows because the temperature is blazing hot. These temperature fluctuations make finding the right temperature for the home a challenge. Another issue that confuses many is knowing when it’s time to turn on the heat.

woman staying warm inside

When Is It the Right Time to Switch From AC to Heat?

To heat or not to heat? That is the question you’ll find yourself asking during the fall. Some believe you should turn on the heat as soon as October hits. Others wait until the first cold day before firing up the furnace. Neither of these groups is right or wrong, as it comes down to a matter of personal preference. 

The general rule of thumb is to start heating the home once the outdoor temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. But, the HVAC’s purpose is to keep your household comfortable, so essentially, you should do what feels best. If you’re feeling chilly in September and want to turn on the heat, go for it.

Don’t be afraid to switch back to the AC on warmer days if that will provide comfort. Just be careful not to strain the system by constantly switching back and forth.

Factors to Consider when Switching From AC to Heat

While turning your furnace or heating system back on is often a matter of personal preference, you’ll still want to review some of the main factors that could affect your home’s comfort and your HVAC’s performance. As you think about the pros and cons of switching from AC to heat, review the top three factors that can help you make a decision below:

  • HVAC Age: If you have an older HVAC system, you may need to turn on your heating system earlier. Since older HVAC systems often take longer to heat the home, they may need to be turned on sooner than newer systems. Systems in the 10-to-15-year-old range may also need to be replaced, as they’ll often need frequent repairs and struggle to heat your home appropriately. Before you turn on the heat, consider investing in a new HVAC installation to ensure you receive efficient heating all winter long.
  • Climate: The outdoor environment plays a huge role in this decision-making process. Those in areas with mild winters have the luxury of not needing to rush the switch. But, those with harsher winter months will want to make the switch earlier in the season.
  • Excessive Heating: There is such a thing as turning the temperature up too high, no matter how good it may feel. Keeping the thermostat setting between 68 and 71 degrees is typically ideal for most households to avoid needless excessive heating. Raising the thermostat higher than 72 degrees won’t just waste energy but will also leave you with a substantial energy bill. High temperatures also reduce the humidity indoors, which leads to dry air. Everything from your skin to hardwood floors will dry out, creating a very unpleasant environment. 

4 Heating Tips to Follow When Switching From AC to Heat

When you decide it’s getting close to time to switch to your furnace or other heating system, you’ll want to follow a few tips to ensure it can perform well and won’t lead to a significant spike in your energy bills. Learn more about the four top tips to follow before you turn on your heating system:

  1. Have the unit inspected: Scheduling a heating system inspection is one of the best ways to ensure your furnace is ready for the fall and winter months. Having an inspection and any needed maintenance performed before you turn your system on can ensure your system will provide energy-efficient heating and not break down in the winter. Try to schedule this inspection near the beginning of fall to ensure an HVAC technician has time to make any repairs before the cold really sets in.
  2. Perform a test run: After you’ve had the unit inspected, it’s a good idea to turn on your unit before the chill sets in. Turning it on a few days before you really need it will let you know whether your heating system is ready to carry you through the fall and winter. 
  3. Increase the temperature gradually: Once it’s too cool to go without your heating system, you might think it’s a good idea to immediately crank the heat. It’s not, as turning it to a high temperature quickly could strain the system. Instead, allow the heat to slowly warm your home by raising the thermostat’s temperature in intervals.
  4. Before catching some Zs, turn the system to a lower temperature: An easy way to save money and reduce strain on your heating system is to turn the temperature down a few degrees before you go to bed. For example, if you like to keep your home at 70 during the day, adjusting the thermostat to 65 at night can help you save money on your utility bill. Additionally, you’ll likely sleep better, as it’s typically recommended to sleep in 60 to 68-degree temperatures

Choose Big Air for Heating Repair in Concord, CA

If you’re looking for furnace repair in Concord, CA, or the surrounding areas, Big Air has you covered. From furnace inspections and heating maintenance to furnace repairs and HVAC installations, our many services ensure we can be your one-stop-shop for all-year heating needs. We also offer an annual maintenance contract, Big Air Beyond, that will ensure your furnace is inspected and running at its best every winter. You can also review our coupons and financing options to ensure our heating services fit your budget.

Learn more about our Concord heating services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please fill out our online form or call us at 925-687-7942.

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