When you have an HVAC system in your home, chances are there are some features you still don’t know about or understand how they work. Take Summer and Winter switches, for example. You might have seen one of these in your air duct while doing heating and air conditioning maintenance. If you have and you don’t know what it is, you’re in the right place! 5 Star Air is here to tell you everything about your HVAC system.
An HVAC system comprises a heating and air conditioning unit integrated into one system. While stand-alone heaters are mostly only needed during Winter and air conditioning during summer, an HVAC system allows homeowners to control both units using one system. Your HVAC system controls your heater and air conditioning units, giving you the convenience and ease-of-use stand-alone units don’t.
So, where do Summer and Winter switches come into play? These switches are mainly in your air duct. Depending on your setup, air ducts connect to different HVAC components. For example, you might need a humidifier during Winter, which is not necessary during summer. In this case, a Summer and Winter switch is on the air duct that connects to your humidifier.
The switch allows you to toggle between On and Off. During Summer, you toggle the switch to Summer, cutting off the humidifier from the system. Turning off the humidifier allows your air conditioning unit to run efficiently. Switching the toggle to Winter allows the humidifier to run and heat your home during Winter.
Switch toggled for Winter.
When you toggle the switch to “Winter” or “W,” you allow air to pass through your humidifier and the open ducts. This setting heats the cold indoor air and gives it just enough moisture to prevent wood elements in your home from cracking due to low humidity during Winter.
Switch toggled for Summer.
You don’t need the humidifier as much in Summer due to an already high humidity level brought about by the warm climate. During hot days, you will instead need your air conditioner to cool down the indoor temperature to a comfortable level. If you leave the switch at the Winter setting, the valve will remain open, allowing your humidifier to circulate humid air into your ducts and through your air conditioning. Your HVAC’s air conditioning unit will work harder to cool down humid air from your humidifier, making your HVAC system inefficient.
These switches mostly have a nearby control panel that controls your air conditioner and humidifier. Set the switch according to your preferred level, and enjoy the comfort your HVAC technology brings to your home. For more information about your HVAC system and its features, contact 5 Star Air anytime. We provide peerless HVAC system installation, repair, and maintenance services you won’t find anywhere else.
Our experts are just a call away. Don’t hesitate to give our HVAC experts a call for all your heating and air conditioning needs. We have years of service experience and expertise in HVAC technology, ensuring quality services every time.
What Does An Air Duct Summer and Winter Switch Do, And Why Is It Important?
Humidity is an essential factor in keeping your home comfortable. According to 5 Star Air experts, humidity levels should be within 20% to 50%. This setting is considered comfortable and safe for your home’s structure. There are many ways to control humidity in your home, and the most common is located somewhere along your air duct – the Summer and Winter switch. If you are doing routine heating and air conditioning maintenance, it is important to check if you are using the correct setting.
Most homes with the Summer and Winter switch are those in areas with cold climates. The switch is a single lever that you can pull in one direction for Winter and the other for Summer. Homes with heaters and humidifiers have this switch as it plays an important role in your HVAC’s efficiency and protects your home’s structure.
The Summer and Winter Settings
In most homes, the switch only has two positions – open or closed. These positions are indicated near the switch, labeled Summer/Winter or S/W. Some newer HVAC systems with built-in humidifiers give you a variety of settings on top of the ON/OFF toggle.
Many systems have as many as ten different settings. You can use these to select the humidity level you want to circulate in your home at any given time. Choosing 1 gives you the least humidity, while 10 gives the highest level of humid air.
How Summer and Winter Switches Work And Why They Are Important
In the Wintertime, the switch should be open to allow air to pass through the humidifier and the ducts. Humid air provides warmth during cold Winter days, allowing for a comfortable atmosphere even during extremely cold weather.
During the Summer months, the lever needs to be closed. As your HVAC system uses your air conditioning unit during hot days, leaving the switch open will send moist air through your air conditioner. Your AC sucks in hot air and condenses and evaporates it to cool it down. Allowing humid air to pass through the AC makes it work harder as it needs to cool down more warm air.
The switch can also protect your home’s structure. For example, if it is around 15 degrees outside your home with 60% relative humidity, your indoor humidity will be much lower, usually around 10% of the outside humidity.
As cold air enters your home, your furnace heats it, causing it to expand in volume. Without the humidifier, the expanded air will not have added moisture. This scenario results in low indoor humidity, which is about 6%, low enough to cause wooden elements in your home to crack.
So if your home has a Summer and Winter switch or valve, you must make use of it every change of season. Not only will it make your humble home more comfortable during extreme weather conditions, but it can also protect its structure and save you money on higher energy bills caused by an inefficient HVAC system.
With the end of the season just around the corner, don’t hesitate to call the experts at 5 Star Air for everything you need to know about your HVAC system. We provide HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance to ensure you get the climate control you deserve.