In general, fall is when you switch from your AC to your heating system. For some, this could happen in September or possibly earlier, while people in the southern United States may not use their heating system until the end of October or November. In either case, the considerations and steps you should take before going from AC to heat are the same no matter where you live. Let’s explore what you should consider before going from AC to heating.

When Is the Best Time to Switch from AC to HVAC?

The best time to switch from AC to HVAC is before you need the heating system. While this may be autumn for some, it could be near the end of summer for others. In either case, it’s best to do a test run of your heating system. Doing so before cold weather sets in can help ensure your system is performing properly before you need it.

Always Change Your Filters

Your HVAC system relies on filters to intercept the air circulating for heating and cooling. Then, the air filters capture various particles and impurities such as pollen, pet dander, dust, dirt, mold spores, bacteria, and microorganisms. This helps prevent you and your family from inhaling these potentially dangerous pollutants. Over time, your air filters will become clogged and must be changed. A great time to proactively change your filters is before going from AC to heating.

Dirty filters can pose a range of problems. In addition to circulating pollutants throughout your home, dirty filters can negatively impact the efficiency of your HVAC system. However, it’s vital to understand that not all air filters are equal. The efficacy of filters is gauged by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating, which ranges from 1 to 16.

How to Choose the Right Air Filters

Choosing air filters for your home is an important decision. Most homes are fine with filters that have a MERV rating between 8 and 13. This range ensures effective filtration and maintaining indoor air quality. However, several factors can dictate the exact MERV rating you should use in your HVAC system:

  • If your family has pets
  • The location of your home
  • Whether your family has health issues
  • Whether you have smokers in the house

In addition, the manufacturer of your HVAC system can make recommendations for the best filtration rating. While most people assume that higher MERV ratings are better, this may not always be the case. Too high of a MERV rating may restrict airflow through your HVAC system, causing it to work harder than necessary and reduce air quality.

Inspect Your HVAC System

When it comes to your HVAC system, an ounce of maintenance is worth pounds of cure. And fall is the perfect time to inspect your HVAC system. According to most research, preventative HVAC maintenance can prevent as much as 95% of future breakdowns. To maximize the performance of your system, it’s best to schedule a professional inspection. During a professional inspection, the technician will check outdoor and indoor components.

Clean the Air Ducts

The air ducts are one of the key HVAC components shared by your AC and heating system. The air ducts are the conduits of all the air trekking through your home. Along the way, the air leaves contaminants and allergens in the ductwork, such as:

  • Pet dander
  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Dead skin cells
  • Mold spores
  • Pollen
  • And more

Eventually, these contaminants can accumulate in your ductwork. If you fail to have your ductwork periodically cleaned, these pollutants and allergens will be reintroduced into your home.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance with Comfort Systems

Undoubtedly, one of the first things you should do before switching from AC to heating is to schedule HVAC maintenance. It’s one of the smartest and most important things you can do for your HVAC system. Scheduling your HVAC maintenance well ahead of your official switch to ensure any lingering issues are addressed before you turn on your heating system. In either case, regular biannual HVAC maintenance is crucial for sustaining optimal system performance. Make sure you schedule your preventative maintenance early enough so you can have any repairs performed or replacements before your heating is critical.