A Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is certainly not the least complicated piece of equipment in a home. Most of us will never need to understand how everything works beyond operating the thermostat, but there is a lot of misinformation available, and this can lead to confusion. In order to raise awareness, we will look at four common misconceptions that you may have heard about HVAC systems.
- Vents Should be Closed in Unoccupied Rooms
This seems to be a reasonable assumption; if a bedroom is not being used it’s a waste to use air conditioning or heating and closing the vent will save energy. This is not correct, closing vents in unoccupied rooms can actually cost you a lot of money. When your HVAC system was installed, it was sized to perfectly fit the size of your property. When vents are closed in rooms, that space is closed off, and the system is not operating in the correct size of space anymore. The HVAC system will then struggle to adapt to a space that it isn’t designed to cool and heat. This can lead to short cycling where the system will run briefly and frequently restart. Short cycling wears components out quickly and will usually lead to an earlier system failure.
Many people believe that turning the temperature all the way up or down on the thermostat will heat or cool the home faster. The HVAC equipment in your home has a blower fan that is shared by the heating and cooling systems. The blower fan can only operate at a single speed of 100% no matter what the temperature setting is on the thermostat. When the temperature is set too high or too low, it simply makes the blower fan operate for longer without speeding up the heating or cooling process. When the blower fan operates for longer periods, it’s less energy efficient and costs more to run for no reason.
- An HVAC System Will Last for 20 Years
An HVAC system works hard, and it will typically last for 10-15 years if it’s well looked after. A well maintained HVAC system could last 20 years, but it will be less energy efficient and more prone to component failure. Eventually, a point of diminishing returns will be reached, and it will be cheaper to install a new HVAC system. This will be a blessing in disguise, modern HVAC equipment is far more energy efficient and has useful new features.
- Energy Efficiency is Guaranteed
Many people install an energy efficient HVAC system and believe that they have guaranteed maximum energy efficiency. The truth is that it’s easy to run an energy efficient HVAC system inefficiently for a number of reasons. The HVAC equipment must be properly sized to suit the home, and the air filter will need to be cleaned or changed regularly. The thermostat needs to be carefully set to efficient settings, and the system should not be running all the time. Finally, the HVAC system should be installed and then serviced regularly by a professional technician to keep the system running efficiently.