When you read online material or listen to friends or family, you may hear several common HVAC myths. More than providing a laugh, acting according to these myths can damage your system and increase utility costs. Consider these six HVAC myths common among homeowners across the country, including in Apopka, FL, and the real truth behind them.
1. You Can Reduce Heating Costs by Closing Vents
It makes sense to think that closing vents in unused parts of your home would reduce energy consumption. However, this myth fails to recognize how your HVAC system will be negatively impacted.
The air from your system’s supply vents creates positive air pressure. Conversely, the return vents create negative pressure. The pressure difference causes the air to move, regulating the temperature evenly throughout your home.
When you close vents in your home, you prevent the pressure difference that creates circulation. Without this circulation, the indoor temperature is uneven and causes longer cooling and heating cycles. These longer cycles mean both increased energy consumption and more frequent heating and air conditioning repairs.
2. A Bigger System Will Heat Your Home Better
HVAC size refers to a system’s heating or cooling capacity. Some think the bigger the system, the faster it will heat or cool your home, reducing cycle lengths.
The reality is that HVAC systems should run 10 to 15 minutes cycles. This not only conditions the air moving through your system but ensures there’s enough air movement to spread it around.
An oversized system causes short cycling, which increases the number of cycles it runs. This prevents your home from ever achieving the right temperature and will likely increase heating and cooling costs.
3. You Don’t Really Need to Change Air Filters That Often
You may hear that you don’t need to change your air filters more than once a year. This depends on the sizes you have, with 5- or 6-inch filters lasting up to 12 months.
How long your filters last not only depends on their size but also on your air quality. If you have poor air quality, they will clog more quickly, needing more frequent replacements. Plan to check your filters every month to keep an eye on how fast they collect contaminants.
4. You’ll Save Money with a High-Efficiency System
Some suggest that you’ll automatically save money simply by upgrading to a high-efficiency model. A higher-efficiency system may indeed reduce your energy consumption.
However, it’s not guaranteed because it also depends on insulation and the condition of your ductwork. If you’re leaking conditioned air through your roof or ductwork, it doesn’t matter how efficiently your system produces it. Furthermore, if you don’t properly maintain your system, it will quickly lose its peak efficiency.
5. Setting Your Thermostat to One Temperature All Day Improves Efficiency
How to best set your thermostat is a hotly contested topic, and everyone seems to have an opinion. One such opinion is that the best way to maximize efficiency is to keep your thermostat at a constant temperature.
It’s more efficient to keep your thermostat at a constant temperature when people are home. However, when no one’s home, you’re paying to heat or cool your home to the same degree with no benefit.
That’s why the Department of Energy recommends turning back your HVAC temperature by 7 to 10 degrees when you’re away. Their studies indicate that this can save you about 10% on utility bills when dialed back for eight hours a day.
6. You Don’t Really Need HVAC Maintenance
Despite seeing information about HVAC maintenance all over the internet, you may hear some say it doesn’t matter. In reality, a neglected system loses efficiency and experiences more strain, repairs, and even a shorter service life. Further, it could invalidate your HVAC manufacturer’s warranty if it does break down.
You can easily avoid these common HVAC myths and keep your system running strong for years to come. Call to schedule HVAC maintenance with our expert technicians at ACR Air Conditioning & Refrigeration today.
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