MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Many people in Myrtle Beach don't have furnaces, but instead have heating coils. They work by essentially turning the air conditioning around and blowing air over hot coils into your home.
"Heat pumps work well, most people have heat pumps; they work well when the temperature is above 30 degrees," said Shaun Leary of Air Mechanical. "A lot of times you're going to rely on the auxiliary heat, especially this weekend where it's going to get into the teens and twenties."
According to Air Mechanical, a heating and cooling company in Myrtle Beach, when the air gets below freezing it's common for steam to come off these heating coils - that's perfectly normal.
"The units in the winter when they start to freeze up outside go into a defrost cycle," Leary, said. "The fan will shut off and usually you can see steam coming up off the top of the unit ... On the thermostat, it'll indicate that the auxiliary heater is on, which is normal. When the unit goes into defrost when it's cold outside, the auxiliary heat will come on."
Also, if you change the temperature in your home by more than three degrees Fahrenheit, you'll notice the auxiliary heat turn on. That happens any time a large change in temperature in your home is set.
Experts at Air Mechanical say the best way to keep your home consistently warm and keep your heating bill down is to change your air filters.
"A lot of people don't change their filters regularly. Proper airflow is obviously very important to having a system work correctly. This is an example of a not recently changed filter. This would obviously be a newer filter," Leary said while showing two example filters.
In addition, keeping the thermostat set at one constant temperature will avoid turning on the auxiliary heat, which will also keep your system working more efficiently.
"The best way to run a system: find a setting you like, leave it there. Heat pumps don't recover very well in the cold, or in the heat during air condition season either," Leary said. "Find a setting, leave it there. Your system will be working a lot better than letting it get colder than finding a comfortable temperature during the day. Just find a setting and leave it there."