We all want to be as energy-efficient as possible in order to save on money, right? As is normal in this day and age, we take to the internet in search of tips and tricks to reduce our monthly bills. With so many life hack gurus out there spreading the word about their newest discoveries and what worked or didn’t work for them, there are a lot of misconceptions mixed into what might actually be helpful information; and it can be difficult to discern what’s what. That’s why we’re debunking some of the most common HVAC myths.
- Turning off the AC when you leave saves energy
This is arguably the largest and widely-spread misconception out there. The fact of the matter is that turning off your AC when you’re not home can actually cost you money. This is because, when you turn it back on, your unit will have to work harder to cool your hot and muggy home. All those savings you collected while it was off just flew out the window. You might as well leave your unit on. If you really want to save money, though, invest in a programmable thermostat. That way, you can set the temperature or turn the unit off while you’re away and have it start cooling again before you get home.
2. Air filters only need changed once a year
This is another common myth. Air filters need to be changed every couple of months, maybe more often depending on how clean you keep your home and whether or not you have pets. As air filters get dirty, they reduce the airflow and the quality of air in your home. It can even clog your HVAC system. A dirty filter also causes your unit to work harder, which can shorten its lifespan and impact energy efficiency. Take a moment to go check your filter; we’ll wait.
3. Larger HVAC systems work better
You might think that an HVAC system that is larger than what your home needs would be better suited to meet those needs, right? Wrong. If you get a unit that is too large for the airflow demands and square footage of your home, the unit may frequently cycle on and off or run for longer than necessary. This is sure to take a toll on your energy efficiency and your wallet. Other problems such as dust leaking from the ductwork and poor air distribution may also occur. It’s better overall to buy a properly-sized unit.
4. Closing vents will reduce energy costs
This cannot be further from the truth. Closing your vent registers can actually cause damage to your system. Your system may become imbalanced or the ductwork may start to leak cool or warm air. Ultimately, this will raise your heating and cooling costs.
5. Cranking the thermostat will make the unit work faster
Your unit won’t heat or cool your home any faster, but it will certainly work harder. Raising or lowering the thermostat will cause your unit to continually cycle on and run until your home reaches the temperature you set. Another myth bites the dust.
6. The location of the thermostat doesn’t affect how the unit works
Thermostats are built to read the temperature of their surrounding location. If your thermostat is too close to a register or is in direct sunlight, it might get an inaccurate reading. This could cause your unit to shut off too early or run too long, depending on the perceived temperature.
7. Routine maintenance isn’t important
On the contrary! Just like you need check-up’s at the doctor’s office, your HVAC unit needs tune-up’s. Routine maintenance can help prevent major issues – namely break downs. Just a check twice a year can save you a lot of money down the line.
8. Covering the unit during the winter is a good idea
No, no it is not. Covering your unit can actually seal in moisture, thus speeding up the corrosion of its parts. You should definitely not cover your unit if you have a heat pump, as this type of unit runs all year round. There are covers that will protect the fan without completely closing the unit off. You might try building a roof or container for your unit from fencing materials.
If you have questions about your HVAC unit, call A/C Masters or go online to schedule an appointment. To find out more about the types of equipment we offer, visit our website.