Staying Up On Furnace Maintenance

When Your Heating And Air Conditioning Are Functionally Backwards: What To Expect

If you have been away from your home for some time and are now just returning to it, your first instinct is probably to turn on the heat or the air conditioning to get your home comfortable. If after a short while you notice that your home is not the right temperature (e.g., too hot when it should be cool, too cold when it should be hot), your heating and air conditioning might be functionally backwards. In these instances, something is drastically wrong with your furnace, air conditioner and/or thermostat. Here is what to expect when these things happen and what to expect from your HVAC contractor when he or she comes to make repairs.

No Matter What You Do, You Cannot Change the Temperature

If you want your house cooled to sixty-eight degrees but your heater seems to be in overdrive, or you want the house heated to seventy-three and the thermostat reads fifty degrees (or less!), you may try to crank the thermostat so that the coldest or hottest temperatures possible read on the thermostat. While this approach to get the temperatures in your home to change quickly is not half bad, it only works if your entire heating and cooling system actually works. Otherwise your efforts to get things to cool or heat faster will not work at all and may even have the opposite effect. Shut your entire system down (since it is not working anyway) and wait for the HVAC contractor to show up. (If you are in danger of heat exhaustion or hypothermia, find a neighbor's house, hotel or motel where you will be safe until the repairs are made.)

What the Contractor Will Do

The very first thing the contractor will check is your thermostat. Mixed signals from the thermostat can cause your furnace and air conditioner to turn on when they should not and prevent the right appliance from turning on. If the thermostat is not the problem, then the contractor/technician will check the electrical connections in the furnace and the air conditioner. Often, small animals like mice will chew on cables and cords and bite right into and through the wiring before electrocuting themselves. (Some HVAC contractors have even found the corpses of these pests clinging to the wires and cables they were chewing on when they died.) He or she will also look for short circuits and connections that have been soldered incorrectly. Once the problem is uncovered, then the contractor/technician (like those from Allzone Air Conditioning & Heating Corp and similar locations) will fix it and test your systems to make sure they are now functioning as they should (i.e., cold air for AC, hot air for the furnace).


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