SoCal weather giving you whiplash lately? Having a hot/cold relationship with your HVAC system in attempts to regulate your immediate atmosphere? Well, just like any relationship, there are key factors to make this a happy one!
We’ve all been told at some point in our lives “Don’t keep switching the temp settings! You’ll break the system!!” Well, you’ll be glad to know contrary to what you’ve heard, switching back and forth between heating and cooling generally does not cause problems. BUT, switching back and forth frequently can cause your system to briefly shut off due to “short-cycling”.
Short-cycling is like when someone interrupts you mid-sentence. Most of the time you can pick up where the conversation left off, but other times that interruption can throw you off and cause you to forget. Now you’ll have to take a second to regather your thoughts before starting the conversation again.
Some units have built-in “Anti Short-Cycle” timers and some digital thermostats have built-in time delays to prevent this from happening. That being said, try to get in the habit of letting your thermostat sit in the OFF setting for at least 5 minutes before starting another cycle, allowing the system to equalize. Usually, resetting your breakers should do the trick. But, if you find yourself stumped, give the professionals a call.
Sometimes, like with any relationship, a small issue can actually have a larger problem at the root of it. The same is said for short cycling, which can be a sign of a larger issue. A band-aid fix such as replacing parts or repairing certain components can help extend the life of your system. However, it still leaves it open for complete system failure in the future. You definitely want to uncover the hidden cause by consulting a professional.
If your compressor fails prematurely before 15 years and is resolved with a band-aid fix, you will find that in addition to repair costs, the compressor will consume a great deal more energy and the space will rarely reach the set point. This can consume 20-50% more energy that you may not be aware of, leading to hidden costs that are rarely linked to the problem. No one wants that!
“Love does not make the world go around – it simply makes the ride worthwhile”. Show your HVAC system some TLC, bring in professionals when needed and you are sure to have a long, fruitful relationship.