Transitioning Between Cooling and Heating

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There is something about school being back in session that just says “fall.” You may have been out of school for 40 years, but August still brings back memories of gathering school supplies, laying out a first day of school outfit and wondering what your teacher(s) will be like. Since kids are back in school, and that means fall even if it’s 90 degrees outside, it is time to think about another fall event: the switch from cooling your home to heating it. You may have questions (especially if you are in your first home), such as: how do I turn the furnace on?  What should I do with my air conditioner? Well read on, and hopefully these inquiries will be answered.

First, it is important to have your furnace inspected either or before or throughout the heating season. This ensures that your system is in great shape, and it also includes a filter change. You will be off to a fresh start! Please be aware, that you can turn your furnace on and begin using it before having it inspected.

As far as turning the furnace on goes, just look for the switch on your thermostat labeled: HEAT OFF COOL and then flip that switch from cool to heat. Newer thermostats may have an option on the digital screen or a button instead of a switch.

So you did all of that, and the furnace just isn’t working.  Ugh.  Looks like it is time to take a trip down to the furnace.  Once there, look for a switch on the side of the furnace that resembles a light switch.  This switch must also be switched to on in order for the furnace to work.

Ok great, the furnace is working.  Now what? Now it is time to discuss the humidifier. Humidifiers are a part of most forced air systems, and you want to be sure that yours is cleaned out before you start using it for the winter. This can be a DIY project or you could call a professional. To turn the humidifier on, there is a control that is called a humidistat typically mounted on the ductwork. Certain newer thermostats have the humidistat controls as part of the regular the thermostat. The humidistat will allow you to choose a percentage between 0-60/70% of relative humidity. Though this is a personal decision, generally keeping your home at about 40-50% humidity in the winter is a good idea. In the beginning of fall, there is still humidity in the air left over from summer so your humidifier may not be as necessary right away.

So the heating system is all set, but what about the air conditioner? There is not much to do with the air conditioner, but you should not put a cover over the air conditioner due to the fact that a cover will keep all of the condensation moisture from the condenser trapped inside which could lead to a moisture build up.

What you can do with your a/c is look for the grey electrical box located outside against a wall near your condenser unit. When you find it, open the door, pull the disconnect and flip the switch to “off.” The power in this electrical box runs the heat for the condenser unit oil. You do not need the power in the winter, so there’s not a point in paying for something you do not need.

Switching from summer to winter really is easy as pie. If you have any questions about any of these steps, please contact Santa Fe Air!