Summer HVAC Myths Debunked: What You Should Know

Summer HVAC Myths Debunked: What You Should Know

When it comes to home cooling systems, it seems like every homeowner has taken advice on how to lower their energy bills. Unfortunately, not all the advice is based on truth. There are many common cooling system myths that we will debunk below so you get a better understanding of your system.

Bigger Is Always Better

When the hot summer weather hits, it’s easy to think you need a big cooling system to combat it. The reality is that an oversized air conditioning system for your home will decrease efficiency and skyrocket your energy bills. When your system is too big, it will kick on for a few minutes and turn off quickly as it reaches your desired temperature. This is referred to as short cycling.

When this happens, your air conditioning system isn’t getting to run long enough to remove all humidity from your home. When humidity remains, it can make your home feel much hotter than it is. This will have you turning down the temperature on your thermostat. Your cooling system will be short-cycling more often and increasing your utility bill than if you just had an appropriately sized cooling system for your home.

Closing Off Unused Rooms Lowers Utility Bills

A common HVAC myth that many homeowners fall victim to is that closing off unused rooms will lower their utility bills. This isn’t the case because the ducting for your HVAC system is designed to work for your entire home. If you shut the vents in rooms that you use infrequently, air pressure will build up inside your ducting.

This will force more cold air out through leaks and gaps into your wall and floor cavities. Your cooling system will have to work even longer to deliver cold air to the rooms where you need it. You’re better off keeping all your vents open so your ducting works efficiently alongside your HVAC system.

A Denser Air Filter Is Always Better

When you first start diving into different HVAC air filters, you’ll quickly learn that the higher the MERV rating, the more filtering capability it will have. While this is true, it’s important to think about the operation of your cooling system. Air is forced through the filter to remove contaminants. The smaller the holes in the filter, the more force your cooling system will have to use to push air through it.

Most household HVAC systems aren’t designed to work with very high MERV filters. Only use a MERV filter that your system manufacturer recommends. Otherwise, your cooling system will work overtime to force air through the smaller holes and can prematurely wear out its internal components.

Duct Tape Is for Ducting Repairs

When you notice any leaks or gaps in your ducting, you want to get those sealed up as soon as possible. Tape is a quick and effective option for doing so. However, duct tape is not designed to work with ducting. The temperature extremes that run through the ducting can cause regular duct tape to warp and fall off. Instead, you want to use foil tape formulated to work specifically on ductwork. It will withstand temperature extremes for a long time.

Fans Make Your Rooms Colder

Fans play a role in helping your family to feel cooler in your home. However, the fan itself doesn’t offer any cooling of the air. Rather, it uses a breeze to provide a wind chill effect on your body. When you’re hot and sweating, the wind created by the fan helps to evaporate that sweat. Therefore, it cools down your body and makes the room feel cooler. When you run fans regularly in a counterclockwise direction, you’ll likely find you can set the temperature slightly warmer and use less energy while remaining comfortable in your home.

You Only Need an HVAC Technician When Your System Breaks

While you’ll undeniably need to contact an HVAC technician to repair your broken HVAC system, that’s not the only time you want to call them. Your HVAC technician should come out once a year and perform maintenance service on your cooling system. Just like maintenance on your car helps it to run better and last longer, the same holds for your home’s cooling system. Regular maintenance is a great way to help ensure your cooling system works efficiently.

Thermostat Placement Doesn’t Matter

When you have one central thermostat controlling your entire centralized air conditioning system, it’s easy to think that its placement doesn’t matter. This seems to make sense because the cold air created should eventually make every room in your home have the same temperature. However, that’s not always the case.

Other external factors can influence the temperature reading on your thermostat. For example, if it’s placed in a location that receives direct sunlight or near an appliance that creates heat, it will likely read a higher ambient temperature than the rest of your home. Proper care needs to be taken when it comes to selecting an adequate location for your thermostat.

Turning Your Thermostat Down Will Cool Your Home Faster

The stark reality of this myth is that your cooling system isn’t going to work any faster. It doesn’t matter if you set it to be 2 degrees or 20 degrees under the ambient temperature. It will work at the same speed to cool down your home. The problem with setting your thermostat down is that you’ll likely forget that you did it and increase your energy bills in the future.

An Energy-Efficient System Will Lower Your Energy Bills

With so many cooling systems on the market today, it’s not hard to find units deemed to be very energy-efficient. The reality is that these systems are only as good as their environment. You can invest a ton of money in the most energy-efficient cooling system on the market. However, if your insulation is lacking and you have air leaks throughout your home, your new system can only do so much. Consider the whole picture as you try to make your cooling system operate more efficiently to lower energy bills.

Air Filters Need Changed Every Year

One myth that can create real problems for homeowners is that you only need to change your air filter once a year. Those who believe this have their HVAC technicians change the filter only when the technician performs maintenance service on their systems. It’s important to note that your system’s air filter should be changed every two to three months. It’s a good rule of thumb to check the filter at least once a month to determine if it needs to be replaced. Leaving a dirty air filter in your system will decrease efficiency and produce prematurely worn-out parts.

Expert Cooling Service

Air Max HVAC offers expert cooling services for the entire Burbank, CA community. Our helpful technicians can also assist with all your heating, home energy audit, ductless mini-split and indoor air quality needs. Give our office a call today to schedule your next service consultation.

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