Have you ever considered what other era you would want to live in besides the one in which you currently live? I have, and while some things might seem more exciting, I know that I would greatly miss the modern luxuries that I often take advantage of; from running water to things like toilet paper. Growing up in the south, I know I would especially miss having central heating and air. It is on my list of top 3 favorite technological advances. Your HVAC unit does so much to keep you comfortable, yet it can be so misunderstood. Here are five myths about your HVAC system that you might not know.
I Should Turn My Thermostat Off When I’m Gone
You might think turning off your AC when you’re gone would give your HVAC unit a break and save you money simultaneously. However, this is not correct. Rather than turning your thermostat off, turn it up (in the summer) or down (in the winter) by 7-10 degrees. Leaving the thermostat on will allow the HVAC to run and keep unwanted moisture out of the air. But, it will also let the temperature in your home to be a little closer to the temperature outside.
In turn, this will help your HVAC unit to work less. It will also keep your home comfortable for when you return. Turning your thermostat off would cause your home to be uncomfortable. AND, your HVAC would have to work harder to get the temperature regulated again. After a long day, no one enjoys waiting even to be comfortable and relaxed in their own home. According to energy.gov, by adjusting your thermostat by 7-10 degrees, you can save up to 10% on your heating and cooling.
I Must Always Keep My HVAC Set to “Auto” Instead of “On”
This one is tricky as it depends on what you are trying to accomplish by using your HVAC system. If you leave your system set to “on,” the air in your home will be constantly filtered through your HVAC system. This means the air in your home is continually being cleaned and moisture filtered out. It also means that the heat and air will constantly be circulated, which can mean more even and consistent temperatures throughout your home.
On the downside, it also means that you will consume more energy and have a higher energy bill. You will also need to replace your air filters more often. If you leave your system set to “auto,” you will be using less energy and fewer air filters. However, your air won’t be cleaned constantly, and the temperature will not be as consistent throughout your home. Also, continually starting and stopping your HVAC system can cause a lot of wear and tear on the fan inside and cause it to wear out more often.
I Can Use a Ceiling Fan and Get the Same Results as an HVAC
A fan can help you cool down, but at the end of the day, if the temperature is 98 degrees, you are still just blowing around air that is 98 degrees. A fan doesn’t do anything to cool off and remove the humidity from the air in your home. So if you are looking for comfort, replacing your air conditioning with a fan won’t bring you your desired results. While a fan won’t ever be able to replace an AC system, a ceiling fan can help you feel up to 4 degrees cooler. This may allow you to bump your system settings up a few degrees to save money in the summertime.
An Energy Efficient HVAC System Will Automatically Lower Utility Bills
There is a motto in the field of building science that goes like this: “Build tight. Ventilate Right.” The different parts of your house work together as one whole system. Replacing your old HVAC system with an energy-efficient HVAC system doesn’t guarantee a considerable reduction in energy usage. If your house is leaking air due to a lack of an air-tight seal, your HVAC system will work harder than it needs to keep your home at your desired temperature.
I Lose a Majority of My Cooled/Heated Air Through My Windows
According to America Heating and Cooling, “It’s possible—but it’s nothing caulking won’t fix. It’s more likely you’re losing energy through your ceiling and roof. On average, about half of heating and cooling loss comes from air leaks and low-quality, low-performing insulation.” Using a spray or injection foam on your home’s walls can help with this. When installed, the foam seals up all the nooks and crannies. This prevents the air from moving freely through your floors, walls, and roof. Fixing your insulation will help regulate temperatures in your home. In the long run it will save you money on energy bills and HVAC repairs.