Nearly everyone knows that running your HVAC system when you don’t really need it is a waste of energy and money. What you may not know is that your misconceptions about your system may be preventing it from running at optimal levels, sending your cold, hard cash up the chimney. Check out these common energy-wasting myths and learn the truth about keeping your home warm and toasty during the winter.
Cranking up the Heat Doesn’t Warm Your House Faster
If you are under the impression that turning the thermostat on high will raise the temperature in your home quickly, you are mistaken. The thermostat simply works to alert the heater that the air temperature in the room has fallen below the desired level. Your furnace does not know the difference and will shut off as soon as the temperature reaches the appropriate temperature. If the temperature in your home dips to 60 degrees and you want to raise it to 68, it doesn’t matter if you set the thermostat to 68 or 80 degrees. The temperature in your home will rise at the same rate. The danger of setting it too high is that your furnace will continue to pump out heat until the set point is reached. Forgetting to turn it down means burning more fuel than necessary and putting more stress on your furnace.
Some Homes Should Change Filters More than Once per Year
You’ve probably heard that you should change your air filters once per year, usually during your preseason servicing. Once per year might be fine in some instances, but every situation is different. You may need to change your filter more often to get peak performance from your furnace. If you have pets that produce a lot of hair and dander, live in a dusty area or run woodworking tools in the basement, there is a good chance you need to change the filter more frequently. Talk to your HVAC contractor about the appropriate schedule for you.
Closing Vents to Unused Rooms Won’t Cut Heating Costs
You might be surprised to learn that closing vents in unused rooms doesn’t save you money. Because your heating system relies on air pressure in the ducts to operate smoothly, closing vents can alter the pressure and put more stress on your heating system. This can cause your energy costs to rise and increase the chances of your furnace developing problems. If you want to close off heat to sections of the home, do so by closing the dampers in the duct work instead. If you do not have dampers in each branch of the duct work, your HVAC contractor can install them for you.
Service Contracts are Well Worth the Money
Service contracts ensure that you receive regular preventive maintenance. Although you may think that because you haven’t had major problems that the money you pay for the service is an unnecessary expense, the truth is you should have fewer major problems because your HVAC contractor identifies and corrects potential problems before they turn into major issues. Without a service contract and regular maintenance checks, the cost of a major heating repair will likely be greater than the cost of the service contract.