When it comes to heating and air conditioning, people want to be both comfortable and energy efficient. In order to do so, people often seek out advice, tips and DIY tricks. With the internet being such a prevalent source of information today, many use it as their first option. While it’s true that some of it is useful, it’s also true that some of it could lead you in the wrong direction. If you’re somebody who’s looking for HVAC information, it’s important to be aware of the myths. Below are some of the most common myths being spread about heating and air conditioning, along with some ideas of what you could be doing instead.
Adjusting the Temperature
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Myth #1: There’s no use in adjusting the temperature of the heating or air conditioning when leaving the house.
Truth #1: Turning down the temperature in the winter and turning it up in the summer will actually help to lower your energy bill. When there’s not a large difference between the outside temperature and the inside temperature, less energy is being used. People often do this when they plan on being out all day or when they’re going to sleep. This option could be overlooked because some don’t think that the small amount of time will make the difference, or because they don’t want to risk feeling uncomfortable when getting home or waking up. The truth of the matter is that the small amount of time will make a difference. If you’re more worried about comfortability, look into a programmable thermostat. This way, the temperature will adjust automatically around your schedule.
Helpful Hint: Don’t completely turn off the air conditioning or set it to an extremely high temperature. This could have the opposite impact because the system will then have to work harder to get back to the desired temperature.
Myth #2: It’s not worth having your air conditioning and heating systems serviced regularly.
Truth #2: Some believe that this is a waste of time and money, but it’s in fact the opposite. Scheduling maintenance on your system will help keep it running longer and more efficiently. Maintenance tasks make the system run smoother, therefore using less energy. The older a system gets, the more tired the moving parts become. They need to be lubricated and the system needs to be checked for other issues that could be slowing the system down. Rather than making an emergency repair call or having to replace the whole entire system, maintenance tasks can be done in a quick and easy manner, and is definitely the cheaper option in the long run.
Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems
Myth #3: It’s guaranteed that an energy-efficient system will always reduce the energy bill.
Truth #3: While it’s an environmentally conscious choice to opt for the energy-efficient system, there are other factors to consider. When purchasing the system, be sure to know the size you should be getting. Every home is different, therefore, there are different rules regarding size and installation. If done the wrong way, it could end up being more costly. Speak to a professional if you’re not exactly sure of your options.
Myth #4: Your home will heat up quickly if the thermostat is set to a high temperature.
Truth #4: The temperature the thermostat is set to has no correlation with the speed. Setting the thermostat to 90° will not help it get to 70° faster. The thermostat will reach 70° at the same time as it would if you originally set it to 70°. If you don’t want your house reaching 90°, you’ll eventually have to put it back to the desired temperature anyway. Don’t risk wasting energy. The same goes for air conditioning as well.
Myth #5: The use of fans will decrease the energy used by the air conditioner.
Truth #5: A fan’s function is just to circulate the air, not to cool it. The same amount of energy is still needed for the air conditioner to reach the set temperature. Using just a fan will help save energy, but using both will just increase energy use.
Myth #6: The only function the air conditioning is good for is cooling.
Truth #6: An air conditioner doesn’t only have that one function. While cooling the air is an obvious function, and the main reason why people invest in them, that’s not the only job it’s responsible for. An air conditioner is also in charge of decreasing humidity. Some systems even have an option to just use the drying function. Humidity makes the air feel warmer, so air conditioners help prevent this.
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Myth #7: Duct tape is the best to use for sealing HVAC ducts.
Truth #7: Yes, the name has the word “duct” in it, but it’s not the best option for sealing ducts. Duct tape can have a negative impact on the system because it can cause dust build-up. Duct tape doesn’t last very long either. You’re at risk for air leaks once the tape falls off. Mastic tape serves as a better seal and insulator.
Helpful Hint: Cleaning your ducts can help save money as well.
Myth #8: Using space heaters in a couple rooms is cheaper than running a gas heating system.
Truth #8: Natural gas is cheaper than using electricity, even if the space heater is occupying a small space. For the same cost, a space heater will only warm half the space compared to a gas heater. It’s better to have the one heating system running, rather than three or four space heaters.
These myths go to show that you can’t believe everything you see on the internet. Becoming knowledgeable about what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to your heating and air conditioning services will help keep the systems running safely and efficiently. Before you decide to try anything new, consider the pros and cons or contact a professional for more advice.
Now that you’ve learned about the different myths and truths regarding heating and air conditioning, here are some extra tips to help keep you informed! Be especially careful when it comes to the winter myths. If you’re not aware, you could be losing money.