10 Myths About Your HVAC System: BUSTED!
Homeowners, for one reason or another, seem to hold onto common myths about HVAC systems, maintenance, and energy efficiency. These myths could be affecting the lifespan of your home’s HVAC system – and your monthly energy bills as well.
Sharp Air Conditioning is here to bust those HVAC system myths and save you money and home heating and cooling frustration!
Myth #1: Shutting off the A/C during the day wastes energy
Busted: Shutting off your A/C might save money and energy, but it might also mean replacing your system sooner. Constantly shutting off the A/C could cause more wear and tear on the AC system while also making the home an uncomfortable temperature. One financially smart solution is to have your HVAC specialist install a programmable thermostat. These units will turn the A/C off and on according to your work schedule.
Myth #2: Keeping the temperature the same all day is more cost-effective
Busted: The closer your home is to the temperature outside, the less your air conditioner has to work to keep the house comfortable. People tend to make the difference between temperatures smaller when they’re sleeping, but not when they leave the house. Less energy is used when the difference between the inside and outdoor temperature is small, which leads to a reduced energy bill, so it is a good idea to set your home’s temperature as close to the outdoor temperature as possible when you’re not home. Again, a programmable thermostat can be an asset for this type of routine.
Myth #3: Filters only need to be changed once a year
Busted: Filters should be changed every few months to ensure an efficiently running system, and possibly more often depending on the quality of air filter you’re using. A filter that’s only changed once a year becomes extremely dirty and constricts air flow through the system, essentially choking it and forcing it to work overtime to cool your house. This could cause undue stress on the system, prompting a possible breakdown. No matter how you slice it, a clean filter changed often is far less costly than a unit repair.
Myth #4: My HVAC system doesn’t need routine maintenance
Busted: Just like a car requires a yearly inspection, an HVAC system should be treated to a routine check-up. This ensures that the system is functioning as well as it should. Routine maintenance cuts back on emergency issues as well, as HVAC technicians can spot problems early on before they become expensive emergencies. The HVAC system operates with a complicated grid of parts, and over time, the pieces will need lubricated or replaced to keep the system running efficiently.
Myth #5: The best HVAC system is a big one
Busted: The best HVAC system for any home is one that is specifically suited for the insulation level, square footage, and number of windows. A too-big HVAC system uses more energy and needs to cycle on and off more frequently due to the small space. A HVAC contractor can help you choose the right system for your home by analyzing the house and your family’s needs.
Myth #6: Thermostat location doesn’t influence heating or cooling
Busted: A thermostat located in direct sunlight or too near a vent will shut down early. Since the thermostat regulates the building temperature, an improperly located thermostat could influence the comfort of every occupant and cause your unit to turn on and off unnecessarily. If you are unsure if your thermostat is in an ideal location, contact your HVAC specialist for assistance and advice about relocating it to a more desirable location.
Myth #7: An energy-efficient unit saves money
Busted: An energy-efficient unit is a good place to start for saving money, but a number of other factors can make your bill continue to skyrocket. For example, without good insulation and good window seals, the energy bill will still be high. Choosing the right system size for the home influences the energy bill. Simply put, though energy-efficient units can reduce your bill, they can only do so if other additional factors are working to keep your home’s temperature comfortable.
Myth #8: I can cool my home faster by lowering the thermostat
Busted: Although this seems like common sense to crank the A/C all the way down when it’s hot, the truth is that the HVAC system pushes air through the house at the same rate no matter the temperature. Setting a lower temperature only means that the HVAC system will work longer than needed to adequately cool the space. A quick fix for feeling cooler is to turn on a few fans to move the air around until the home is at the desired temperature.
Myth #9: Closing vents in unused rooms is more efficient
Busted: When vents are closed, air pressure increases within the air ducts. A balanced air pressure helps to effectively move air throughout the house to regulate the temperature. Blocked off vents, however, throw the air pressure balance off, causing air to seep out of air duct seams and forcing the HVAC system to work harder. This means more energy use and potentially adding energy usage to your bill unnecessarily.
Myth #10: Duct tape best seals HVAC ducts
Busted: Despite the common denominator of “duct,” duct tape is not the best option for sealing ducts. In fact, duct tape negatively impacts the HVAC system because dust can build up. Duct tape also does not have a long enough life span for HVAC ducts. For proper duct insulation, it is best to contact an HVAC professional.