Can you Turn on your AC and Heater at the Same Time?

The cooler months are coming in San Diego, and it’s time to think about switching from your AC to heater. You may be wondering if it’s safe to run your AC and heater at the same time. In most cases, it’s fine, but here are some recommended guidelines.

It’s Generally Safe to Switch Between Your AC and Heater

Switching between heat and AC is fine as long as you’re doing it the right way.

If you switch between systems incorrectly, the components could go through unnecessary stress and use a lot of energy to make your home comfortable. You’ll end up with higher energy bills and an HVAC system that wears down quickly.

Paying attention to regulations will keep your home comfortable while ensuring your systems remain problem free.

Don’t Rush the System. Wait for the Current Cycle to Finish

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to how your HVAC system works. You just turn the dial when you want the temperature to change and let it run until it stops.

Star Wars Yoda meme

But if you want to save money on energy costs and cut down wear and tear on your HVAC system, there are some simple things you can do to make things more efficient. One is not switching between systems until one cycle ends and another begins.

By switching mid-cycle, you run the risk of damaging your system (and giving yourself a huge energy bill). Instead, stay patient and wait for the cycle to finish. Leave the unit for a few minutes, then adjust the thermostat by a few degrees.

Image: a person's hand adjusting a thermostat on the wall. You would need to use the thermostat correctly to run the AC and Heater at the Same Time.

Looking after your system will save you paying for HVAC maintenance and repairs.

What Happens When You Let Your HVAC Unit Short-Cycle?

Short-cycling occurs when your HVAC system turns on and off quickly, resulting in higher energy bills and decreased efficiency. If you’re regularly switching from air-conditioning to heating, you run the risk of short-cycling your system.

The result of constant switching is that the unit needs to work harder than necessary just to keep up with these small fluctuations in temperature — which means that it uses more energy than necessary.

Short-cycling puts pressure on the compressor while also making the fans work harder. Unfortunately, the more pressure you put the system under, the more likely it is to break down.

Image: a woman sitting on the couch looking at her computer and paying bills. When you turn on your AC and heater at the same time, you need to do it correctly or it will cost you more money.

If you’re feeling the chill of fall approaching, try to keep switching to heating at a minimum. Wearing extra layers of clothing until it’s time to put the heating on full time will save you money in the long run.

Here’s What to do if Your Compressor Locks Up

If your HVAC system is locked up and not running, you’re probably wondering what to do next. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to get the system working again without having to call in a professional. Before you start, though, make sure you’ve checked for any signs of damage or leaking.

Image: the inside of an air condenser.

Here are a couple of things you can try:

  1. Turn off the breaker that controls the unit and let it sit for a few minutes before turning it back on. This should release any pressure built up in the system and allow it to start working again.
  2. Try manually starting the compressor by turning on all the breakers at once and then pushing the start button on your thermostat.

If these fail, or you don’t understand the technical issues around your air-conditioning system, call in an HVAC professional.

Why HVAC Maintenance will Save you Money

HVAC maintenance is necessary because your system needs to be maintained to keep it running smoothly and safely. A regular inspection by a trained technician will check for issues with the equipment, such as worn filters and dirty coils.

Image: a technician checks levels on an AC unit.

The technician will also ensure that all connections are secure and that there aren’t any leaks or other problems with the ductwork. They will also check the electrical components, such as thermostats and sensors, so they’re operating properly.

Image: a condenser against a side of the house.

Many homeowners wait until something breaks before scheduling HVAC maintenance, which is usually too late! For example, an air conditioner’s compressor could fail at any time, causing the system to overheat and shut down completely — possibly causing damage to other parts of your home’s interior. An annual inspection by a technician ensures that your system is running smoothly before any problems occur.

Use a Smart Thermostat to Transition from Fall to Summer Easily

A smart thermostat can help by keeping your home at a comfortable temperature when you’re away, even when it’s sunny outside. It will also help save energy by turning off automatically when you leave and back on when you return. You can even schedule your home to cool down before bedtime, so you’ll get a good night’s rest.

Interested in finding out more? Contact the professionals at ASI.