Running and maintaining your HVAC system properly can save energy, lower your utility bills, and extend its life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of energy myths around that keep people from getting the best performance from their heater, air conditioner, and other appliances. Here are some of the most common energy myths, along with energy-saving tips that actually work.
Ceiling Fans Make Rooms Cooler
Ceiling fans make you feel cooler by helping sweat on your skin evaporate faster. They can keep you comfortable at higher temperatures so you can save money and energy by using your air conditioner less. However, they don’t actually change the temperature of your home. This means that running a fan in an empty room will waste energy.
If you don’t feel any cool air from your fan, it could be set to turn clockwise for winter. This pulls cold air towards the ceiling, moving the warm air there closer to the floor and people. To set a fan for summer, adjust the small switch in the center. You may need a ladder or stepladder to reach it.
Setting the Thermostat Higher or Lower Changes the Temperature in Your Home Faster
Walking into a cold room and turning the thermostat up to 90 degrees won’t help you get warm any faster. Most HVAC systems only have on, off, hot, and cold settings. The air that comes out of the vents will be the same temperature whether the thermostat is at 90 degrees or 75. If you set the thermostat too high or low, you could waste energy if you forget to change it later. Set the thermostat to the temperature you really want instead.
You should also install your thermostat away from sunny areas and heat-producing appliances to keep your HVAC system from running too long in summer. To heat and cool your home faster, make sure your air registers are open and not blocked by furniture or drapes. You should also check your filter once per month and change it at least every three months. A clogged filter can obstruct airflow and cause warm or cold spots in your home.
Changing the Temperature When You Leave Your House Won’t Save Energy
Warming or cooling your home after you get home from work or vacation uses less energy that keeping it the same temperature all the time. A programmable thermostat can change the temperature for you when you leave home or go to sleep, then change it back half an hour before you wake up or come home. That way, you can save energy without sacrificing comfort. You can even control some programmable thermostats from your smartphone. Setting the temperature just a few degrees lower in winter and higher in summer can also lower your utility bills.
Duct Tape Is Good for Sealing Ducts
Duct tape works well for quick repairs of household items, but it’s actually pretty terrible at sealing ducts. It doesn’t work well in dusty, dirty environments like air ducts, where the adhesive eventually dries out. This means the tape will fall off, and any leaks will reappear. Instead, use mastic to seal your ductwork. Mastic is a liquid with the consistency of thick paint; it offers better insulation and should last for years. You can apply it with a disposable paintbrush or your gloved fingers.
Service Agreements Waste Money
A service agreement with a reputable heating and cooling company can help you prevent expensive, inconvenient breakdowns with regular maintenance. A technician will inspect your HVAC system twice per year, take care of any minor problems before they get worse, and make sure your system is running at peak efficiency. Technicians will also check for leaks in your ductwork or insulation, change your air filter, and look for indoor air quality issues like mold or pests that could make your home uncomfortable and increase your energy bills.
One Source Heating & Cooling offers reliable service, quality products, and 20 years of experience. We provide free estimates and guarantees on all our work, and we can help you with all your HVAC needs — including installation, maintenance, and repair. Call us anytime at (205) 509-1929.
Image provided by Shutterstock