There’s a lot of misinformation out there about HVAC systems. Separating HVAC truths from myths is crucial for maintaining a functional, efficient system.
Myth 1: Cranking the thermostat up will cool a room faster.
This will only cause your system to cycle on and off constantly, causing it to wear down sooner than it should.
1. Turning the Thermostat Up Will Make a Room Cool Faster
When you’ve just come inside from a hot afternoon run or a day of hard work, your first impulse is to crank the air conditioner up. However, this will actually cause your unit to cycle on and off more often than necessary and can lead to severe system issues in the future.
You may also be tempted to close the vents in rooms that you don’t use, thinking this will save energy bills by redirecting air to other areas of your home. But again, closing the vents will actually create a lot of pressure in your ventilation system, leading to leaks over time.
In fact, it’s more energy efficient to leave your thermostat at a comfortable temperature throughout the day rather than constantly changing it up and down. This will reduce the wear and tear on your unit and will save you money in the long run.
It’s also worth noting that your thermostat can sometimes misread temperatures. This can be caused by a number of factors, including needing to be recalibrated, dirt on the sensor, or exposure to sunlight. If you’re noticing that the temperature displayed on your thermostat feels off, it’s best to just call in an HVAC technician to check the system and see what the problem is. Then they can repair or replace the broken component.
2. The Size of Your HVAC Unit Matters
It’s tempting to get a bigger HVAC system when you’re upgrading, but this won’t necessarily mean better energy efficiency or cost savings. A larger system will often cycle on and off frequently, using more energy than necessary. It will also put too much pressure on your ductwork and lead to uneven air distribution. Instead, have a professional measure your home and recommend a system that is appropriately sized for your house.
Many people are guilty of shutting the vents in rooms that aren’t occupied, believing that it will help save on energy costs. While this may seem like a smart money-saving measure, it’s actually more detrimental to your HVAC system and can even reduce its lifespan. Closing the vents in rooms that aren’t used will create excess pressure on your ductwork, causing it to work harder and increase wear and tear over time. Instead, consider investing in a zoned system to help reduce your utility bills.
It’s also important to understand that the thermostat isn’t responsible for determining how fast your space heats or cools. The temperature sensors in the thermostat only let it know when you want to change the room’s temperature, not how quickly the room will reach your desired setting. If you’ve ever noticed that your space feels hotter or colder than what the thermostat displays, it’s time to call a technician.
3. You Only Need to Change the Filter Once a Year
Air filters catch dust, pet dander, and other contaminants before they circulate throughout the house. Changing them regularly helps your HVAC system function more efficiently while improving the indoor comfort of everyone in your household. Regardless of how well you dust and vacuum, the filter must be changed often to prevent the buildup of contaminants in the system. Dirty filters can block airflow and cause the equipment to overheat. This can lead to expensive and time-consuming repairs as well as poor indoor air quality.
Changing the filter every year is fine for vacation homes and other properties that aren’t occupied regularly, but a home with multiple occupants and pets should change it every month. It’s important to make sure the arrow on the new filter is pointing in the direction of the furnace, as that’s where the airflow flows through the system.
While closing vents in rooms you don’t use might seem like a smart way to save energy costs, it actually damages your system by forcing it to work harder to heat and cool the entire house. This can lead to excessive wear and tear, which reduces the lifespan of your equipment.
It’s also important to schedule annual tune-ups for your heating and cooling system. A professional technician can spot potential problems and recommend solutions before they become larger issues, saving you money in the long run.
4. You Can Leave Your AC On All Day
This is one of the most common HVAC myths that is circulating around. The truth is that your air conditioner can only work so hard to cool down a room before it starts to use more energy than it is consuming. This is why it is always a good idea to use your thermostat setback strategy when you are not home or sleeping, and this can help you save money on your energy bills.
The location of the thermostat plays a large role in how your unit reacts to temperature level changes. If it is located too close to windows or vents, it can actually cause your unit to act on temperatures that are too low. This can lead to the unit shutting down before it has a chance to cycle through and cool your home properly.
Your air conditioning also reduces indoor humidity levels, which is especially important in Florida. Humidity can cause damage to your home and health issues like allergies and respiratory problems. By leaving your air conditioner on during the day, you can help to keep indoor humidity levels balanced and safe for your family.
Despite the many myths that circulate around HVAC systems, it is always best to get advice from a professional technician. These technicians have been trained and worked in this field their entire lives and they know the right information to provide. They can help you separate fact from fiction and ensure your HVAC system is running at peak efficiency all year round.