Information spreads like wildfires in today’s day and age. If one person says it, reads it, hears it, it must be true and everyone must share. There are truths and myths about everything so we thought we’d start the new year with some straight up facts and clear up any misconceptions about HVAC units and their usage.
Myth #1: It is more energy efficient to keep the thermostat at one temperature than to change it throughout the day based on your schedule
If this myth were true, there would be no need for programmable thermostats to exist. It is recommended you program your thermostat to start heating or cooling your home about 20 minutes before you get home every day and to stop about 20 minutes before you leave. If you have a flexible schedule, look for a thermostat that allows you to set a different program for each day versus one that only allows 1 program that repeats daily. You can save energy by setting your system higher or lower when you are sleeping too.
Myth #2: To get your home cooler faster, set the thermostat to a temperature much lower than you need
When was the last time your HVAC technician checked out the speed controls on your system? Never? That is correct. HVAC systems don’t have speed controls and therefore will always heat and cool at the same rate no matter what it is set for. Don’t put extra strain on your unit by making it reach unrealistic temperatures. Simply set it to your desired temperature and let it do its job. If you are finding that your system is having a hard time getting to or maintain a normal temperature, contact us, there may be something wrong.
Myth #3: Keeping vents closed in unoccupied rooms will save you energy
False. By disrupting the airflow in your home by blocking or closing certain vents, you may actually be putting more strain on your system. Most HVAC units are installed based on the square footage of the home so by eliminating some exchanges, you are causing the unit to work harder than necessary. You may also cause damage doing this by increasing the air pressure in the ducts which could potentially cause leaks. If you have a large home and you wish to control the temperature differently in different parts of the house, consider a zoning system rather than closing off vents and even doors.
Myth #4: You only need to change the air filter once a year
Does it seem like we mention changing the air filter in your HVAC unit in every one of our blogs? That’s because it is a very important part of maintaining your unit properly and allowing it to function efficiently. Ideally, you should change the filter every few months. A dirty air filter causes unnecessary strain on the system and reduces efficiency.
Myth #5: It doesn’t matter where my thermostat is installed
In fact, it matters greatly. If your thermostat is in a very sunny location, it could read much warmer than the house actually is. The same goes for putting our thermostat in the kitchen where the stove can heat up the room or directly above or below a vent. Inaccurate readings by your thermostat can make your system work harder than it should or simply make your home uncomfortable to be in because the thermostat is not detecting the proper temperature in the home.
We hope we cleared up a few things about HVAC. There is so much more inaccurate information out there about how to care for and use your HVAC unit. If you ever have doubts about any information you hear about HVAC, please call us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!