When you’re dealing with sweltering summer days or chilly winter nights, you’ll want to get the most out of your HVAC system. This includes trying to save the most money on your energy bills, or working to keep your system in tip-top shape. There is a lot of well-meaning advice out there on the internet about all things HVAC, along with a lot of misleading myths that can end up costing you time and money. Fortunately, we’re familiar with all of the most common HVAC myths, and we have the facts to debunk them.
It’s easy to see where this myth comes from, due to the fact that many homes are fitted with HVAC systems that are too big for the size of the home, creating a warped perception of what a “normal” system should look like. The fact is, a system that’s too large will cost more money to operate and have a shorter lifespan overall because it will work too hard to heat or cool your home. This places a large amount of stress on the crucial components of the system. The stress makes the components more likely to fail, which in turn leads to frequent and potentially costly repairs. Additionally, you’ll deal with inferior performance overall as systems that are too large are more likely to short cycle.
The purpose of your HVAC system is not only to heat or cool your home, but to remove humidity as well. A system that’s too large and poorly fitted to the size of your home will likely run in short cycles, which don’t allow the system enough time to dehumidify the air. In dry climates like Arizona, this may not seem like a big deal, however, during the crucial annual monsoon season you may find yourself in a muggy and humid home. If you suspect that your HVAC system is too big for your home, the experts at Chas Roberts can examine your system and offer a free estimate if a properly-sized replacement is necessary.
Your filters are your home’s first line of defense against all the dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can circulate throughout your HVAC system. Because of this, it’s important to change your filters much more often than once a year. Dirty filters can constrict the amount of air that flows through the system, causing the system to work harder—which can lead to a possible breakdown. Dirty filters can also have an overall negative effect on the air quality in your home.
Ideally, you should clean or replace your filters every six weeks. If anyone in your home has asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, you should change your filters monthly. This also holds true if you have pets, as their hair and dander can contribute to your filters getting dirty faster.
Just as you schedule routine maintenance for your car, and annual checkups for you and your family, your HVAC system needs an annual tune-up as well. While it may be tempting to skip a routine maintenance appointment to save some money, this decision can have negative financial impacts in the long run. This is due to the fact that routine maintenance gives a technician the opportunity to spot and fix small problems before they become more serious, and more expensive. At Chas Roberts, our comprehensive 26-point maintenance plan is unmatched in the industry, and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to identifying potential problems in your HVAC system.
Additionally, many HVAC warranties require annual maintenance as one of their terms for coverage. If you choose not to have your HVAC system maintained, you could end up voiding your warranty, leaving you without coverage in the event of a large repair or costly breakdown.
This myth makes sense in theory—if you’re not using a room in your home, why not close the vents so you won’t have to pay for heating or cooling an empty room? However, closing vents can actually cost you more money in the long run by damaging vital components of your HVAC system. Even if your vents are closed, air is still circulating through your ducts. This increase in pressure can damage your ductwork, and damage your blower fan by causing it to overwork. Bottom line, it’s best to leave all of the vents in your home open so that air can circulate throughout your home properly.
Your HVAC unit actually uses the most energy during the first 3-5 minutes after you switch it on. If you continuously turn your unit on and off, you’ll end up using a lot more energy than necessary, which will be reflected in higher energy bills.
To heat or cool your home more efficiently, try toggling the switch on your HVAC unit to “on” and then leave the system to run uniterrupted. This allows the fan to blow air constantly, helping to maintain the temperature in your home and reducing the amount of energy that’s used.
If you’re not at home, you can save money by raising the temperature on the thermostat. Rather than remembering to do this before you head out the door in the mornings, you can set a programmable thermostat to do it for you. For example, if you’re home in the mornings, but away at work during the day, you can program the thermostat to automatically increase or decrease the temperature as needed. According to the EPA, homeowners can save around $180 a year by using a programmable thermostat.
If you’ve been holding out on replacing your HVAC system, it’s time to see how technology has changed. When it comes to comparing older and newer HVAC systems, the differences are clear. Newer systems are exceptionally energy-efficient, allowing you to save on your monthly energy bills. Newer systems are also generally quieter, easier to operate, and less prone to breakdowns. Additionally, older systems may use defunct parts or equipment, such as R-22 refrigerant, which can make repairs costly. Rather than continuing to pay for a system that’s past its prime, replacing the system altogether is a better investment overall.
Need help separating fact from fiction? The experts at Chas Roberts are glad to be of service. We know the world of HVAC can be confusing, which is why we’ve remained dedicated to providing the best service to our customers for over 75 years. Give us a call today and let us handle the rest.
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