At Home Comfort Experts, we know there is a lot of misinformation out there about heating, cooling, and plumbing. We hear it from our customers all the time. So to clear the air and help inform our valued customers, we decided to gather some of the worst myths and misinformation out there and set the record straight. See how many of these myths you’ve been led to believe over the years.
MYTH: My Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling My House, So I Need a Bigger Unit
Not necessarily true. Oftentimes, the reason your system is not cooling or heating to your satisfaction has nothing to do with its size. There are a lot of reasons your air conditioner might not be functioning efficiently, including:
- Your home is not sealed or insulated sufficiently
- You have leaky ducts
- You have improper freon levels
- You have a mismatched furnace and air conditioner system
- Your coils are dirty
- Your system was poorly installed
- You have a builder grade system
Up to a certain point, a larger system will increase your efficiency, but once you pass that point, your system’s efficiency will actually decrease. A system that’s too large will cycle on and off more frequently, using more energy and wearing those parts out prematurely.
Related Read: How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace
MYTH: Leaving Ceiling Fans on Will Keep a Room Cool
Fans don’t affect the temperature of a room at all. However, they do make people feel cooler due to the wind chill effect. When the air in a room moves across our skin, we feel cooler because it pulls moisture from our skin. This gives you an opportunity to raise the thermostat by a few degrees, since you’ll feel several degrees cooler. It’s a good idea to turn the fan off when you leave the room as it uses energy to spin, but benefits no one if the room is empty.
MYTH: If You Set Your Thermostat Way High or Way Low, It Will Heat or Cool Faster
Your furnace or air conditioner can only operate at one rate. Setting the thermostat higher or lower won’t make it reach that temperature any faster. If you set your thermostat at the desired temperature, it will reach that point just as quickly as if you set it higher. However, it will probably surpass the comfortable temperature you want and you’ll have to adjust it back anyway which will waste both energy and money. Set it where you want it and walk away.
Related Read: A Programmable Thermostat Is a Must-Have Feature
MYTH: Duct Tape Is the Best Tape for Sealing Your Ducts
Ironically, duct tape is one of the worst types of tape to use to seal your ducts. It will usually only last a year or so before it loses its stickiness and loosens. It’s especially ineffective in dusty or dirty areas. Mastic tape will stick and seal much better.
MYTH: Closing Vents in Empty Rooms Increases Efficiency
This seems to make logical sense. If you aren’t using those rooms, close the vents and you’ll keep air from blowing into those areas, thus freeing up more heating and cooling for the rest of the house. However, with today’s forced air systems, closing the vents causes an imbalance in the air pressure in your home. Because it wants air, the room will suck it in through cracks around the door, windows, etc. This puts added strain on your system and actually reduces energy efficiency and could lead to a breakdown.
MYTH: A Dripping Faucet Doesn’t Waste That Much Water
A great way to disprove this myth is to place a bucket under your drip and check it after a day or two. A single dripping faucet can add up to 300 or more gallons of water per month! That’s a big chunk of your water bill.
MYTH: It’s More Efficient to Leave Your System Set at the Same Temperature All Day Than to Adjust the Temperature When You Get Home
Many people believe that an air conditioner or furnace has to work extra hard to cool down or heat the house back up when you get home, but this simply isn’t the case. Your AC or furnace will work hard all day to keep your home cooler or warmer than it needs to be with no one there to enjoy it. That leads to a lot of wasted energy!
Using a programmable thermostat will save you much more money on your bills this summer. Programmable thermostats are a great way to save money on energy bills. By programming your thermostat to change the temperature in the house when you’re not around, you can dramatically cut down on energy usage. According to the Department of Energy, turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, can save you 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.