Did you know there are actually quite a few misconceptions out there regarding HVAC use that could be hurting your home’s efficiency? This means you might actually be paying more for your heating needs and your cooling needs than necessary.
Read on as we uncover some of these misconceptions, or myths, to help you better understand what contributes to the efficiency of your home comfort systems.
Myth #1: “I don’t actually need to change my air filter”
One of the most common misconceptions about the standard HVAC air filter is that it is in place to protect indoor air quality. This is not its purpose at all. The furnace air filter is in place to protect the furnace itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that could get in and harm its sensitive components.
When this air filter gets too clogged up, it can harm your furnace in a different way, by restricting airflow. When airflow is restricted, your furnace simply cannot work as powerfully or efficiently as it’s meant to. In fact, it can even overheat.
So how do you combat this?
Well, every 1–3 months, depending on the type of air filter you have and the level of contaminants in your home (and by contaminants we mean anything from cigarette smoke and household cleaning chemicals to pet hair and dander), you should be swapping out your filter or cleaning your permanent filter … which brings us to the next myth.
Myth #2: “I can leave my permanent air filter in year-round.”
This isn’t what it means to have a “permanent” air filter—it cannot simply be left in your furnace and forgotten about. It has to be cleaned out just like a temporary air filter, every 1–3 months.
If you clean it by using water, you will want to make sure it is completely dried out before putting it back into your HVAC system. Otherwise, you could invite the growth of mold or mildew into your system, which is never a good thing.
Myth #3: “Blasting my heater at its highest temperature will heat my home faster.”
Nope, unfortunately this is a big energy-waster. All this does is make your furnace or heating system run longer to try to achieve the desired temperature on your thermostat. And while this typically isn’t as big of a problem in our climate, your heater may not even be able to reach the highest temperature if it’s too cold outside. So all this is doing is exacerbating wear and tear and wasting your precious resources.
Myth #4: “I can install my thermostat anywhere inside my home.”
Not quite, and this is especially untrue if you, like many homeowners, use your thermostat for both your heating and your cooling system all in one. In the winter time, having your thermostat in too cold of a spot, where no sunlight ever reaches, means your heater will come on a lot sooner than it probably needs to, making it warmer than it has to be and wasting energy doing so.
In the summer, having a thermostat in direct sunlight will have the same effect: it will cause the AC system to cycle on sooner and run longer than it would normally have to.