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HVAC Service & Repair: What to Do with Mild or Changing Weather

hvac service repairWinter in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield (IL) through the years has been typically predictable overall. Although Illinoisans are used to temperature swings at odd times, we can typically ballpark what the weather’s going to be like between January and March (including our current deep-freeze).

At the same time, weather patterns have been shifting. In September 2023, 15% of U.S. counties (57.9 million people) experienced temperatures above the 20th century normal. During the same period, 0% of U.S. counties underwent lower than normal monthly temperatures. NASA also recently confirmed that 2023 was the warmest year on record.

So far, here around Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield, we recently experienced a tepid holiday season and start to the new year – and then the deep freeze swooped in. When temperatures shift often or change by notable gaps during a season, what is the best approach to operating your HVAC?

That’s a sensible question, and we’ll give you some things to consider.

HVAC Service & Repair: Turn It Off or Keep It Running?

When winter is milder here in the region, you might wonder whether to turn the heating system off or just keep it running. In the end, it will depend on your personal preferences.

In one scenario, there’s a chance you’d rather not continue moving back and forth with your thermostat settings to accommodate up-and-down weather. At the same time, you do want your home to remain comfortable. You may opt to just keep the system running and let it manage itself according to your desired setting.

When your HVAC reaches the temperature set on your thermostat, it will automatically cycle down and start up again when the temperature changes. This scenario keeps the system running at a much lower capacity, which results in lower energy use as well. The HVAC also wouldn’t be running at full throttle at any time.

In another scenario, you might not mind tracking the forecasts and turning your heating system on or off accordingly. In this case, your HVAC won’t use energy while it’s dormant. However, it will draw some extra power when it’s regularly turned off and then back on again. A contributing reason is that each system switch-on creates a small but still notable energy surge.

The HVAC also will need to warm the whole house to the right temperature each time it activates. This will keep it running at full capacity for a longer time each time it starts up.

HVAC Service & Repair: Beyond Heating

Another factor to consider is that your heating system is designed to do more than warm your spaces. It also aims to support good indoor-air circulation, humidity and quality.

When the system is off, it is not performing these additional duties. Some homeowners may prefer that these aspects be maintained, while others might focus more on keeping tabs on system and energy use.

If you do keep your HVAC running for better air quality, humidity and circulation, remember it’s important to check the air filter regularly and have the system cleaned and inspected on a schedule. This will help ensure the system is adding to those extra factors and not just drawing more power to achieve less while wearing on the system.

HVAC Service & Repair: A Summarizing Scenario

Let ‘s apply what we’ve discussed so far.

An unexpected warm front moves into Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield during the first week of March, making the temperature shoot suddenly up.

Homeowner A turns off the HVAC system during the day and then turns it back on at night when the temperatures drop. They might also use space heaters in certain rooms for extra comfort in the late afternoon or early evening. The intended strategy is to not have the system run unnecessarily, which they believe may also save them money.

Homeowner B makes no change to the system but rather lets it continue to run. They might also program the thermostat a few degrees lower during the day – e.g. for eight hours – and then adjust it back up at night, letting the system run throughout the day.

Based on what we’ve reviewed so far, which homeowner might you be?

HVAC Service & Repair: More About the Thermostat

It’s likely clear by now that your thermostat plays a pivotal role in managing your HVAC. It needs to be communicating well with the rest of the system. The following are signs that your thermostat might require attention.

No response. If the thermostat is switched on but the system does not activate, it could be broken or otherwise malfunctioning. Also be sure to check the batteries.

Furnace constantly running. If the system keeps going even after reaching your set temperature, there may be a problem with the thermostat’s calibration or control.

Incorrect readings. If the unit does not display the correct temperature or does not turn on or off according to the setting, the sensors or wiring could be bad.

Short cycling. Sometimes the HVAC system will turn on and off frequently while failing to reach and hold the thermostat setting. If this is happening, the thermostat’s wiring or control could be flawed.

Blank display. This may indicate a problem with the power source or wiring. Here again, check the batteries. If they you replace them but the display remains blank, contact Air Dynamics to discuss the issue and your alternatives.

HVAC Service & Repair: Programmable Thermostats

Today’s technology gives you great command of your HVAC operation and settings. When you install a smart thermostat, the unit will learn your heating and cooling preferences plus your typical daily schedule. It will then use that data to optimize your system’s run time. This in turn can also help reduce unnecessary system operation and limit the need for extra HVAC service and repair.

Most smart thermostats let you download a phone app you can use to monitor and control your system from anywhere. When you’re home, you can set a 24-hour cycle for waking, leaving, returning and sleeping. If you’re vacationing in the Caribbean, you can check your system and make adjustments to it while you’re relaxing in your cabaña.

At Air Dynamics, we regularly install the Ecobee smart thermostat, which includes wireless sensors to monitor temperature and occupancy so it can provide more-even temperatures throughout your home while using less energy. Our customers have enjoyed some fantastic results in their homes with smart thermostats, often achieving as little as a one-degree temperature difference between floors.

HVAC Service & Repair: Contact Us Today

Air Dynamics is here to help you manage your HVAC the best way when seasonal temperatures are mild or changing in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield (IL). We’re also here to make you even smarter about thermostats and indoor air quality. Whenever you have a question or need HVAC service or repair, just give us a call at (630) 731-1550!

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