In the upcoming weeks, the cooling season will be winding down and many homeowners will begin preparing for this year’s heating season. Around this time of year, many homeowners have questions about switching from air conditioning to heating in their homes. Today we’re going to talk about the relationship between air conditioners and furnaces and what you need to keep in mind when you’re transitioning between the two!
Switching from air conditioning to heating: which parts remain the same?
The great thing about most modern heating and cooling systems is that they share some of the same components. When you switch from running your air conditioner to running your furnace, your system will still use the same air handler, filtration system, thermostat and ductwork. Best of all, your system already knows how to switch between these components; all you have to do is switch your thermostat to the heating mode!
A furnace tune-up is essential when switching from air conditioning to heating
Even though your furnace and air conditioner share some of the same components, there are still many parts that are only used by your furnace. Most of these parts are not inspected during your air conditioner tune-up, so you still need to schedule a furnace tune-up this fall to bring your furnace up to its peak efficiency and performance levels. Check out our posts about tune-ups for your air conditioner and furnace to see how they differ.
What to keep in mind when switching from air conditioning to heating
- Furnaces have their own safety concerns. Gas furnaces burn natural gas in order to create heat for your home. This is not a safety issue if your furnace is working properly, but problems can develop that will leave your home susceptible to fire hazards and carbon monoxide leaks. That’s one reason why it’s so important to schedule a furnace tune-up this fall!
- Low humidity is an issue during the heating season. Unlike during the summer time, humidity levels drop during the heating season and the air is much drier. Low humidity can damage your home, in addition to causing various health issues. You should consider installing a whole house humidifier to protect your home from winter’s dry air.
- Heat rises. When warm air comes out of your vents, it naturally rises to the ceiling. If you have ceiling fans in your rooms, you can run them in reverse to push the warm air that’s pooled up near your ceiling back down to the floor.
- Your furnace doesn’t use an outdoor unit. Unlike your air conditioner, your furnace does not use an outdoor unit. Although your air conditioner’s outdoor unit will be dormant during winter, you should still do your best to keep snow and debris away from it in order to protect it from possible damage.
If you have any questions about switching from air conditioning to heating, or if you’d like a heating and cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, furnace and air conditioning contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Ballwin, Chesterfield and Clarkson Valley, MO.