How an Unseasonable Warm Spell Affects Your HVAC System

Just when you’ve got the house running smoothly in cold weather, an unseasonable warm spell strikes. Until this temporary warmup plays out, it looks like an uncomfortable few days ahead. How does this impact your HVAC system, and what can you do to stay comfortable until winter temperatures return?

HVAC System Issues

Your programmable thermostat is probably in winter heating mode, turning the furnace on and off on schedule. However, heating’s the last thing you need during an unseasonable warm spell. To prevent unnecessary heating expenses and furnace wear and tear, utilize the thermostat’s Hold function. This option allows you to temporarily suspend the current programmed temperature schedule and set a more comfortable temperature temporarily. Cancel the Hold when chilly weather returns and the thermostat will automatically revert to the regular winter schedule of programmed temperature changes.

If you’re tempted to crank up the central AC, inspect the outdoor condenser unit before doing so. Air conditioners are often covered by a protective  cover in winter that blocks air vents. The main fan grille may also be obstructed by items placed atop the unit for the winter. Operating a central air conditioner when vents or fans are blocked can severely damage internal components, including the expensive compressor.

Temporary Comfort Solutions

Here are other ideas to get through a warm spell during the cold winter:

  • Shut out sunlight. Solar heat energy is a major contributor to indoor heat in any season. To moderate indoor temperatures during an unseasonable warm spell, close drapes or blinds during the time of day when sunlight is streaming through windows.
  • Utilize ceiling fans. In an unseasonable warm spell, the gentle air circulation from a ceiling fan makes rooms feel several degrees cooler. Check the directional switch on the fan to make sure it’s set in a counterclockwise direction for proper downward airflow.

For more about staying comfortable in an unseasonable warm spell, ask the professionals at Paitson Bros., your hometown source for trusted HVAC sales and service since 1922.

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