Under ideal conditions, your HVAC system keeps you warm and toasty in the winter. But sometimes things go awry and your system doesn’t function as well as it should. You may be surprised to learn that your false beliefs about your HVAC system may be keeping it from performing at its peak. Check out these common myths and get the facts about how your HVAC system works.
Myth: You Can Clean Your Air Filters Instead of Replacing Them
If you are only concerned with how clean your air filters look, vacuuming them will do the trick, but when it comes to the efficiency of your heating system, looks aren’t important. Vacuuming removes surface dirt, but it doesn’t remove the fine particles trapped in the filter. Your furnace will still have a difficult time forcing air through the filter. To keep your furnace running smoothly, replace the air filter at least once per year or as recommended by your HVAC technician.
Myth: You Should Close the Vents to Unused Rooms
It seems logical to close the vents to rooms you are not using to avoid wasting heated air. But the truth is that closing off vents in rooms disrupts the air pressure in the duct work and causes your system to work harder to do its job. Adjust the dampers in the duct work to each branch instead. These dampers are typically located at the beginning of each branch of duct work and can be adjusted by a simple turn of the handle. Typically a handle that is parallel to the duct work is fully open and a perpendicular handle indicates the duct is fully closed. If your system does not have dampers in the duct work, talk to your HVAC contractor about installing them.
Myth: It Takes More Energy to Heat the House Again than You Save by Turning Down the Thermostat
This myth is partially true. Constantly readjusting the thermostat puts stress on your system and keeps the heat or cool air in a constant state of flux. This may result in higher energy use. That being said, there are times when turning down the thermostat saves you money on your energy costs, such as:
- While You Sleep: The human body gets restful sleep when the room temperature is about 65 degrees, according to TIME Health. If you currently keep your thermostat at 68 or higher during the day, turning it down just 3 degrees could save you money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you will save up to 1 percent on your energy costs for each degree you turn the thermostat back for eight hours.
- When You Work: Turning your thermostat back while you work or anytime you are away from home for more than four hours will save money on energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, setting your thermostat back by 10 to 15 degrees when you are not at home will still save on your energy bill.
Myth: Running an Old System is Cheaper than the Cost of Repairs
Trying to heat your home with an old or inefficient system may seem like the best choice when you are limited on finances. In reality, old systems generally use more energy and cause your utility bills to skyrocket. When it finally gives out, you may have no choice but to replace it. Having your old system serviced regularly prevents major mishaps and saves you money in the long run. Replacing an old system may also be a wise investment as it will require less servicing, need fewer repairs and will typically consume less energy too.
If you have concerns or questions about your HVAC system, contact Metro Comfort Systems. Our technicians can check it out for you and make recommendations for maintaining optimal performance.