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Mythbusting 4 Common HVAC Myths for Homeowners

September 20, 2021

Many HVAC myths are floating around the internet. Unfortunately, some of these myths may end up costing you more in your utility and repair bills in Sanford, NC. Here are four common myths you may hear and the truth about each.

1. Bigger Units Are Better

You may have heard that larger heating or air conditioning units are better because they achieve your desired temperature faster. As the myth goes, achieving the temperature faster means you save money with shorter cycle lengths.

Unfortunately, this misses the point of your HVAC system entirely. Yes, you may have your system shut off sooner with a larger system. However, that means you aren’t moving the same volume of air through your home during the cycle.

To work properly, your system must run for about 15 to 20 minutes. This allows enough air to move through your home to fully condition it. Shorter cycles mean you are likely left with hotter or colder areas rather than a consistent temperature.

Furthermore, shorter cycles mean you’re also more likely to run those cycles more often. Starting up causes the most wear on your system and uses the most energy. Therefore, you actually cause more wear and increase your utility costs by having an oversized system.

2. Closed Vents Improve Efficiency

You probably have a room that’s infrequently used, and you feel like heating or cooling it is a waste. However, closing those vents doesn’t actually improve your system’s efficiency.

Your system circulates air by creating high pressure at the output vents and low pressure at the return vents. Closed vents in the system interrupt that circulation, meaning you end up with uneven conditioning. Depending on where these areas are, you may inadvertently extend cycle lengths to achieve your desired temperature.

Furthermore, closing too many vents creates unusual pressure inside your ductwork. This may cause leaks, allowing conditioned air out before it gets to the intended destination. To avoid all this, consider reducing the flow in a room, but avoid closing the vent entirely.

3. Maintenance Isn’t Really Needed

You have likely heard someone skeptical say there is no need for professional maintenance. However, DIY maintenance can have unintended consequences like voiding your warranty. Inexperienced repair jobs can also create more damage than you had before you worked on it.

Professional maintenance solves several problems that would otherwise increase your system’s strain and reduce its service life. First, a technician works to clean small particles that get past your air filter and collect inside your system. These slowly reduce the airflow capacity inside your system and degrade your system’s efficiency.

Next, they tighten all the mounting bolts and screws and check electrical connections. All of these reduce the strain your system experiences while running.

Finally, they test each component in the system to ensure they are operating within optimal parameters. Anything suboptimal strains the entire system, reducing efficiency and increasing wear. If your tech finds something suboptimal, they can provide the appropriate heating or AC repairs before it becomes an emergency.

4. Air Filters Only Need Annual Replacement

You have likely seen some advertisements for filters that only need replacing once a year. This isn’t true for most filters, and may actually cause damage to your system.

The air filter removes small contaminants that would otherwise cause airflow restrictions within your system. The standard 1-inch filter needs replacing about every 90 days for the average home. However, poor air quality, with a lot of dust and other contaminants, may need more frequent replacements.

Consider checking your filter monthly to keep an eye on how quickly it gets dirty. While looking at it, you may gently vacuum the intake side to remove loose buildup and extend its useful life.

Don’t fall victim to the myths that lead to HVAC system neglect. Schedule your HVAC maintenance with a NATE-certified technician at Cape Fear Air Conditioning, Heating, & Electrical Company, Inc today.

Image provided by iStock

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