Here’s the thing—misinformation costs money. That’s especially true when it comes to your HVAC systems. When homeowners believe myths about their air conditioner or even their heater, it leads them to misuse the system and potentially drive up their own energy costs.
Mistakes can lead to premature breakdowns, too. The good news is, we’re here to debunk several of the most common HVAC myths we’ve heard. Read on!
Myth #1: Air Filters Only Need Changing During Annual Maintenance
It is true that changing the air filter within your central air conditioning system or furnace is something your technician does during your annual maintenance tune-up. However, this often leads homeowners to believe that the air filter doesn’t need to be changed at any other time.
This is definitely a misconception, however. This air filter protects the HVAC unit from dirt, dust, and other debris that can get in its’ interior components. This restricts airflow and ultimately hurts your HVAC system efficiency. During periods of high HVAC system use—which let’s face it, we practically use our air conditioners year round—you should be changing your air filter every 1-3 months.
What if you have a permanent air filter? Well, it still needs to be removed and cleaned! The only difference between a permanent air filter and the other kind is that you don’t need to dispose of the permanent filter—simply just clean it off and put it back in your system.
Of course, it is important for us to add here that if you do have a permanent air filter, you should be washing it with a low-pressure hose, and making sure it completely dries off before putting it back into the system, to prevent mold growth.
Myth #2: The Lowest AC Thermostat Setting Will Cool Your Home Faster
Folks often believe that the lower they set their thermostat in the summer, the faster their air conditioner will cool off the living space. But this doesn’t occur at all. Rather, it makes the air conditioner run longer than it should have to. This is very inefficient and will leave your system with unnecessary wear and tear, and additional costs.
Myth #3: It Doesn’t Matter Where You Put the Thermostat
On the contrary, this matters very much. If your new thermostat is installed in an area that’s significantly shadier or sunnier than most of your living space, you won’t experience the best in heating and cooling. The thermostat should be installed in an area that tells the true story of how hot or cold your living space actually is.
Myth #4: Closing Some of Your Vents Saves Energy
The reverse is actually true. Closing off vents puts a strain on your cooling system, and forced-air heater if you have one. This imbalance in air pressure causes your system to run longer and forces more air through certain areas of your ductwork that wasn’t designated to handle that much. You may find yourself facing a worn out HVAC unit and ductwork problems you weren’t anticipating.