Common HVAC Myths About Your System

It’s easy to forget about your HVAC system when things are working smoothly. Your home is at your preferred temperature, the inside air feels fresh and clean and no noise escapes from the air vents. In fact, people often don’t give the system a second thought until a problem arises. And that problem, can often be at the worst possible time. Below are some common HVAC myths that, if addressed, can keep your HVAC system working smoothly.

My home is spotless, why do I need to change out my filters?

While you may keep your home spotlessly clean, the filter on your HVAC unit is still prone to getting clogged up. Yes, it may require replacement less often but it still does need to be replaced. A filter can become clogged with particles that may escape typical housekeeping or become airborne as a result of the cleaning process. A filter should be switched out every 6-12 (preferably 6) months in a ‘clean’ home, but much more regularly if a shedding pet is present.

An unattended filter increases system wear, reduces system performance and can affect the air quality of the home. It’s a common reason for a call out.

Changing my filter is enough to keep my system operating smoothly.

Changing out your filter regularly is an important part of keeping your system running effectively and efficiently but just changing out your filters will not guarantee ongoing reliability. It is the bare minimum when it comes to the maintenance of your system.

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

Regular scheduled maintenance of your HVAC system is the key to keeping it running smoothly throughout its lifespan. Failing to do so means that you are at the mercy of a breakdown. This breakdown could happen on the hottest or coldest day (or night!) of the year, requiring a costly call out repair service. Initiating a regular maintenance service is not only cheaper than a breakdown, but you also choose when it happens – at a time that is convenient to you.

Ongoing maintenance will maintain a HVAC unit’s efficiency and effectiveness. An absence of a maintenance record makes warranty claims from the system’s supplier, in the case of a fault, incredibly difficult. Your manufacturer literature usually outlines the maintenance types and frequency expected in order to maintain your warranty protection.

Bigger is better

The temptation when installing a new HVAC system is to go big to ensure that you’re heating, and cooling needs are met. An oversized system is not only more costly to install but also costly to run, while being less efficient! These systems tend to cool or heat quickly and then shut off. The space can become uncomfortable in the ‘off’ period, for example with rising humidity in summer.

Any install should be based on an accurate heat load calculation.

My AC and Heating systems don’t affect each other

While in some homes these systems are indeed separate, for the most part they use the same blower and ductwork network to distribute cold or hot air around your home. Ensuring that each component of the system is accounted for during a service is important. While these can all be done during one visit you may choose to have the AC serviced in the Fall and the furnace in the summer. In either case make sure that the blower and ductwork form part of the service, to ensure that the air is distributed effectively.

I’ll run my old HVAC unit until it can’t run anymore

As these units deteriorate, not only do they not cool or heat your home effectively, they also take a lot more energy to do so. If your system is reaching the end of its effective life (15-20 years, depending on servicing), changing it out for a new efficient system will begin paying for itself immediately with lower running costs and effective heating and cooling.

Thermostat location doesn’t matter

Thermostats are by design extremely sensitive. They need to be located in a suitable location to control your system correctly. A suitable location is out of direct sunlight, away from cold sources such as open windows/doors, at a suitable height (usually the same as the light switches) and away from internal sources of heat.

If your thermostat was placed correctly originally only for a TV to be installed in front of it later then it’s likely that it isn’t reading the actual temperature in a space, and therefore not controlling the HVAC system correctly.

I need to cover my AC unit in winter

The answer here is that it depends. If you experience heavy snow in winter and/or heavy leaf fall in the fall it can make sense to protect your AC unit from it. A cover on the top can prevent snow/ice and leaves entering the unit.

Take care when covering the whole unit to use a breathable cover. Without one, moisture can build up, leading to mold and rust.

It is important to note that AC units are built to endure harsh environments so, if in doubt over whether to use a cover or not, consult your local dealer or technician.

And, finally, make sure the cover is removed before you run the unit again! Not doing so can cause serious damage to the system. You might want to switch the unit off at the switch adjacent for the outside unit, this will mean that you should see and hopefully (!) remove the cover before switching the unit back on in Spring.

Lower thermostat setting cools quicker

The temptation can be to set the temperature on a thermostat a few degrees lower or higher than you would usually, in order to have the system cool or heat quicker. While this might work with more sophisticated systems, typical household HVAC systems don’t work like this.

If your system is not cooling or heating as effectively as before then that could be a sign that a service is required.

Don’t believe the myths! Talk to us today at Acosta Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc about how we can get your HVAC system operating smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.