I noticed the leaves in my front yard had a reddish tint to them this morning and the air was fairly cool. Yes folks, fall will soon be upon us. In the heating and cooling industry, spring and autumn are often referred to as the “shoulder seasons.” This is the time when systems are transitioned from either a/c to heating or vice versa. The process is more complicated in larger commercial buildings than in homes but there are still some key concepts that we need to know for our home HVAC systems.
• Make sure your system is running optimally before going into either full-fledged heating or cooling seasons. Clean your filters and make sure that furnace repairs have been done before the service technicians get really busy.
• Depending on the year, the weather and prevailing winds, there can be major temperature fluctuations within any given 24 hour period. It can be hard to keep up and even harder on your system (and energy bills) if you expect to alternate between heating and cooling.
• The most energy and cost effective thing you can do is turn your system off for a few weeks, open the windows when it’s warm outside to get some natural ventilation. Just remember to close the windows before the temperature drops in the evening or you will be tempted to turn on the furnace. Of course, the number of weeks during which this is effective really depends on what part of the country you live in and the weather you get in any given season.
• If your home has an HRV or ERV, you will likely want to turn it off if you are opening the windows. (Although, experts seem to be in disagreement on this point so you may want to double check with your HVAC specialist.)
• Aside from that, consider the low-tech options: this is a great time to pull out cozy blankets and sweaters and enjoy the slightly cooler weather for a few weeks before the furnace gets turned on for the long haul.
Related blog post: Top 10 Tips to Save You Energy This Winter
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