Does Switching Between Heat and AC Damage Your Thermostat?The weather in Godfrey, IL, is predictably unpredictable, particularly when seasons are changing. One day, it’s cold and snowy; the next day, the sun is shining and the windows are open. In some cases, air conditioning may be necessary during the day to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, but as temperatures drop in the evening, you may need to switch the furnace back on. However, does switching between systems cause heat and ac damage? Many homeowners are concerned that switching between their systems could potentially cause damage. In most cases, switching back and forth doesn’t cause any problems. Occasionally, though, this can cause the system to shut off.
Causing the Heat and AC to Lock UpWhen the HVAC unit is in cooling mode, the outdoor unit is running. If you bump your set point up higher on the thermostat to make the air conditioner turn off and then immediately turn it back down, this causes the air conditioner to shut off and then immediately try to come back on. Refrigerant pressure within the system hasn’t had the chance to equalize, which may cause the compressor to lock up. Similarly, if your cooling system completes a cycle and you turn down the thermostat to force it to kick back on, the compressor may lock up for the same reason.
Fixing your Heat and AC DamageSome modern thermostats have a built-in delay to prevent the compressor from locking up, but older systems may not have this safeguard in place. If this happens, the first thing to do is to check your fuse or breaker box. If the fuse isn’t blown or the breaker tripped, then the problem may be more complex and a professional should be contacted.
Switching Between Heating and Cooling
As a general rule, once a heating or cooling cycle is complete, it’s a good idea to leave your thermostat switched to the “off” position for at least 5 minutes before starting another cycle. This allows time for the refrigerant pressure in the cooling system to equalize.