7 HVAC Myths You Should Stop Following

For as long as modern heating and cooling has been around, there have been HVAC myths regarding boosting comfort and saving money on energy bills. There’s a lot of bad advice floating around out there, and misleading myths guide homeowners to do things that harm their furnace or air conditioner. Common HVAC myths concern everything from air filters to cost of new heating and air conditioning equipment.

Thomas & Galbraith is sharing knowledge to put an end to common HVAC myths. Follow professional advice if you want to save money and improve comfort levels in the home. If advice you receive doesn’t sound like a good idea, you can always give us a call to learn the truth about the HVAC myth you’ve been told.

1. Air Filters Should Only Be Changed Once Each Year

If you only change your HVAC system filter one time a year, you are going to have some pretty serious problems. Not all filters are created equally, they require replacement anywhere from monthly up to one year. Typically, the air filters that last up to a year are the thick ones that go in specialized media air cleaners, not your furnace or air handler.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how often you should be replacing your air filter. Check the filter each month, as it may need to be replaced sooner than you expect. During times of the year when your HVAC system is used more, like summer or winter, you may have to change it more frequently. It also helps to change air filters more often if your family members are sensitive to allergens or if you have indoor pets that add dander to the air.

2. The Best System Is the Biggest and Most Expensive

While the most expensive systems typically are the highest capacity and most energy efficient, that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. When buying a new furnace or air conditioner, it’s best to go with the top option within your price range. Sizing is important and you shouldn’t buy a unit that is larger than your home needs or else you will deal with a lot of wasted energy and comfort issues in the home.

Don’t shop for the highest price heating or cooling unit without considering these factors first. We recommend finding the option that offers the right size and best energy efficiency in your budget.

  • Make sure an HVAC professional performs a heating or cooling load calculation for your home so you know the correct size your new unit should be.

  • The higher energy efficiency rating you are able to get with a new unit, the lower your energy bills will be over the life of the unit – these savings can help pay you back to cover the increased cost of equipment.

  • Find a unit that fits well with your home. If your duct system is usable, it’ll be more affordable to buy a new central air conditioner or heat pump. If you need new ducts, whether you have them already or not, a ductless system may be more affordable to install in your home.

3. Maintenance Is Only Needed When Your System Breaks Down

If you wait until your heating and cooling system breaks down to schedule a maintenance tune-up, you’ve waited far too long. You’ll actually need repair services anyhow. Maintenance services work to prevent damage and breakdowns to your HVAC system – they are considered a preventive measure.

This HVAC myth could end up costing you a great deal if you follow it. You want to schedule maintenance tune-ups regularly to protect your system from damage, not fix it once it happens. Schedule one tune-up for your heating system each year and one for your cooling system. Regular maintenance protects your system, improves energy efficiency, lengthens system service life, and keeps warranty terms satisfied.

4. Sealing Air Leaks Is a Piece of Cake

Some air leaks around your home are easy to locate and correct – but the ones in your ducts are much trickier. Most of a home’s duct system is hidden in the attic or under floors, making it difficult for homeowners to visualize areas of damage that cause energy loss.

Instead of following HVAC myths about air sealing, call a qualified HVAC contractor to perform duct sealing in your home. A contractor performs a pressure test to identify leaks in the ductwork. The professional duct sealing methods they use can quickly seal ducts even in hard-to-reach areas. Another common myth is that duct tape should be used on ducts – this is absolutely false! This tape breaks down over time and will only cause air leaks to reopen.

5. The Temperature on the Thermostat Is Always Accurate

Have you ever looked at your thermostat and thought the temperature it displayed felt a bit off? It very well may have been. The notion that the thermostat reading is always accurate is certainly an HVAC myth. Thermostat sensors can misread temperatures for all sorts of reasons, such as needing to be recalibrated, dirt on the sensors, or being exposed to direct sunlight.

If the thermostat isn’t reading temperatures correctly, it doesn’t control the HVAC system correctly and your room may not be heated or cooled to the temperature it displays. If your room feels hotter or colder than what your thermostat states, call your technician to have the thermostat repaired or replaced.

6. Crank up the Thermostat Settings to Quickly Heat or Cool Your Home

Cranking the thermostat up to a very high temperature or down to a very low temperature will not heat or cool your home any faster than if the thermostat was programmed to your typical temperature preference. This is among the most common HVAC myths and all it has done is encourage homeowners to waste money over the years.

If you mess with your temperature settings like this, don’t expect your home to reach comfortable conditions any faster. Chances are you’re going to forget you made this adjustment and forget to reprogram the thermostat once you’re comfortable. Then, you’ve caused your system to waste energy and do more work which increases wear and tear.

If you’re worried about feeling uncomfortable when you come home because the furnace or air conditioner has been set higher while you were away, there are better solutions than messing with your settings like this. Program your programmable thermostat to change temperature about 15 minutes before you return home so the heating or cooling system has time to get your room to a comfortable setting. Or choose a Wi-Fi or smart thermostat with geofencing technology that can detect your location and automatically adjust temperatures when you’re on your way home.

7. Close Vents to Save Money

This is a very popular HVAC myth, but it will actually hurt your system and won’t save you any money. Even if you don’t use a room, you should still heat or cool it if it is connected to your central HVAC system. HVAC systems are designed to heat or cool a specific area, and when closing vents, it doesn’t cause the system to produce less heating or cooling.

Instead, closing vents traps air inside the ducts. This increases pressure which leads to air leaks in the ducts. It can also cause overheating in your HVAC system that will damage components. Leaving your vents open is a more energy-efficient choice.

Don’t Follow HVAC Myths at Home

HVAC myths are the cause of a lot of homeowner troubles as well as repair calls that could have been prevented. Before you try a questionable HVAC myth, call Thomas & Galbraith to find out the truth. We offer the professional advice and services you need to protect your heating and cooling system the right way.

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