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Every year, weather experts attempt what seems like the impossible. They try to issue predictions about what the upcoming seasons will bring, from cooler-than-normal to warming trends as well as storm activity and weather patterns like El Nino and La Nina.
Sometimes their predictions end up being spot-on, while at other times just the opposite takes place. This can not only be stressful for you, but also wreak havoc with your HVAC system as it attempts to adjust the temperature and humidity levels throughout your home while continuing to operate at peak efficiency.
In this post, learn what you need to know now to protect your HVAC system from the ever-more unpredictable weather patterns that may occur in the Hamilton and surrounding local areas this spring.
The 3 Biggest Losers in Unpredictable Spring Weather
When weather patterns are unpredictable, as they so often can be during the spring season, you may find yourself switching from using the heater to using the air conditioner in the same week—or even in the same day!
Here are the 3 biggest losers when unpredictable spring weather strikes:
Your health As you switch back and forth from hot to cold and from air conditioning to heating, with accompanying shifts in the relative indoor air humidity, your sinuses may alternately feel dry and cracked and clogged and inflamed. This discomfort can lead to allergies, breathing problems, and worse.
Your energy bill There is no easy way to regulate your energy use costs when weather patterns are unpredictable, especially if you use different energy sources, such as gas and electric power. So this means you often end up paying more than you would in more constant weather patterns.
Your HVAC system Your HVAC system can certainly handle being switched back and forth from heating to cooling. But if you do this too quickly, you can cause what is called a "short cycle" short-circuit that can in time blow out the associated fuse in your circuit breaker box. This may cause a preventable service call and a repair fee for the blown fuse.
How to Prepare Your HVAC System for an Unpredictable Spring
Since weather experts are forecasting some unusual weather patterns for the Ontario/Hamilton and surrounding areas this spring, including warmer-than-usual weather in some areas and cooler-than-usual weather in other areas, this basically adds up to a spring season where anything could happen weather-wise!
So both you and your HVAC system will need to be prepared for the unexpected.
Here is a checklist to ready your HVAC system for an unpredictable spring:
Be sure to change both the HVAC unit's furnace filter and the household air filter regularly.
Consider installing a backup generator for your HVAC system to keep it running if extreme weather, high winds, or storms are likely to knock out your power.
Keep your pipes wrapped against cold weather (and avoid a burst pipe and a costly repair) until you are sure the warmer days are here to stay. You may also want to consider pipe insulation, since temperature fluctuations are a leading cause of burst pipes throughout North America.
Clear away all debris around and on top of the HVAC unit and have your service technician do the same for the interior of the unit.
Schedule your spring maintenance and repair service call as early in the season as possible to be sure both the heat and cooling functions are performing at optimal levels.
When you find you need to switch between cooling and heating more quickly, turn your HVAC system to OFF and wait 5 minutes before you switch (newer digital HVAC units may have a built-in 5-minute delay, but older units will not). This will help equalize the refrigerant to handle the alternating demands of heating and cooling your indoor air.
Consider making an upgrade to a new Energy Star-certified HVAC system, which can lower your energy bills and improve your efficiency up to 20 percent.
Schedule an air duct cleaning to remove all the built-up debris, dust, pollen, toxins, and pollutants. This will improve your HVAC unit's ability to efficiently respond to your rapidly changing needs for pure and high-quality warm and cool air.
Seal up any leaks, cracks, or worn out weatherstripping to keep indoor air in and outdoor air out (this will also improve your HVAC unit's efficiency and keep your energy bills lower).
Don't rely on your programmable thermostat until weather patterns have stabilized. Otherwise, you may find your thermostat directing your HVAC unit to waste energy when you are not home to change it and when the weather has shifted again.
Contact Shipton's Heating & Cooling Ltd.
Shipton's Heating & Cooling Ltd. has been proudly serving the Hamilton and surrounding areas for nearly a century! In 2015, we were awarded The Spec's Reader's Choice Gold & Platinum Awards for Best Heating & Best Air Conditioning Company. Early this year, in 2016, we were voted the Top Air Conditioning and Heating Company in Hamilton.
If you are a new customer, we are eager to offer you the 24/7 reliability, promptness, and expertise that has earned us these recent and other treasured awards. Contact us to find out about our popular Rewards Club and Energy Protection Plans.
Need a repair fast? We stay on the job for you 24/7, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Reach out to us by phone at 905-549-4616 or online with your HVAC questions and requests.