Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems may not be the simplest of systems in a home, but you know enough to get by. You know how to use your thermostat—for the most part—and how to save some energy while you use it. For example, you should shut the vents in a room you’re not using so you don’t waste it…right? Most HVAC experts would tell you that one’s not quite right.
Homeowners mean well, but many of the things they think they believe about air conditioning and heating systems are just common misconceptions. We want to help clear up the idea of closing up vents and other common myths in today’s guide.
1. You should close the vents in unoccupied rooms.
We understand why you might think this. It seems as though, when you’re not using a bedroom in the home, it’s a waste to leave the heat or AC on. So, you may close up that vent and assume that means your heating and cooling equipment will run for less time, saving you money.
In actuality, this can cost you—big time. See, your heating and air conditioning systems were both sized before installation to cool a certain amount of space—the space in your home. When you close vents, you close off some of that space. That forces your air conditioner and heating systems to struggle. They may short cycle, running in brief spurts but starting up too frequently, which actually wears down components and can lead to the system’s early failure.
2. Turning the temperature down more cools the room faster
This misconception works both ways: many people also turn the temperature on the thermostat all the way up in the winter in hopes it will heat the home faster. This just isn’t the case.
Your HVAC equipment shares a blower fan that moves at only one speed: 100%. When it has a long way to go to heat or cool your home to the setting on the thermostat, it just runs at 100% for longer, wasting energy. Pick an efficient temperature instead, and stick with it!
3. Your system should last a good 20 years or so, no matter what
When we tell a homeowner their system needs to be replaced, they’re often surprised. “I only got this system 10 years ago! How can this be?”
The truth is that most HVAC systems only last about 10-15 years, but some could last 20. It all depends on factors such as usage amount and, more importantly, how well you take care of it. You cannot expect your system to last a long time unless you change the filter on time and schedule regular preventative maintenance.
4. An energy-efficient system will automatically keep my bills low
Despite the efficiency rating on your HVAC system, it could still run inefficiently for the following reasons:
- The equipment is not the right size for your home (either too small or too large).
- You don’t schedule regular maintenance with technicians each year.
- You don’t change the filter.
- The installation was not done by HVAC professionals.
- You turn the thermostat to inefficient settings or leave systems running all day and night!
For more information about HVAC in Cincinnati, OH, contact the HVAC experts at Bartels Heating & Cooling.