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How Does Opening Your Windows Impact Your HVAC System?

We all appreciate our air conditioners and heaters, but sometimes we feel the need for fresh air. If you open the windows in your Bessemer, Alabama, home, however, how does your HVAC system react? To control your home’s comfort and protect your HVAC system, you can follow these strategies when opening up your windows.

Turn Off Your Heating and Cooling Units

When we install an air conditioner or heating system in your home, we calculate the load necessary for the unit, so your home gets cooled and heated efficiently. When you open a window, you increase the load on your HVAC system because the unit must work harder to maintain a specific temperature, that’s the air that escapes.

If you want to open those windows, turn off your HVAC system until you close them again. You’ll not only protect your HVAC system from overheating or suffering unnecessary wear and tear, but you’ll also save money. There’s no sense consuming energy to heat or cool your home while the windows remain open.

Check the Weather and Allergen Forecast

The fall or spring air might smell delicious, but the fragrance can come at an uncomfortable cost. First, if you leave the windows open, especially while you’re gone and a rainstorm forms, you could find your floors sopping wet. Moisture remediation can cost significant amounts of money, depending on the extent of the damage, and you don’t want any furniture or decor ruined.

Secondly, opening your windows exposes you to allergens, which can reduce your home’s indoor air quality and leave you sniffling. Depending on the time of year, numerous allergens can pollute the outside air, and open windows will bring them inside.

Use Ceiling Fans to Circulate Air

When you turn off your HVAC system, air flow ceases. You might feel a light breeze when you pass an open window, but otherwise, you won’t experience much disturbance in your home’s air. Use ceiling fans to keep you comfortable and to circulate the fresh air throughout your home.

You can also open windows on opposite sides of your home to create cross-ventilation. You might find yourself more comfortable when the air comes from two different directions.

Minimize Shut-Down Time

Don’t leave your HVAC system down for long periods of time. If your AC, furnace, or heat pump remains dormant, it can collect dust and perhaps suffer damage.

Additionally, leaving windows open overnight can constitute a security risk. Even second-story windows can prove vulnerable if they’re close to a ladder, tall tree, lattice, or something else that a criminal could climb. Close your windows before you go to bed and turn your HVAC system back on.

Clean the Home

When your windows are open, they can welcome all kinds of debris, even if you don’t realize it. Pollen, dust particles, and other contaminants will rest on your floors and surfaces, which can reduce your indoor air quality. Consider cleaning your home thoroughly after you’ve opened your windows to minimize exposure to contaminants.

Focus on the areas around the windows, including the floors, window sill, and nearby furniture. Mop hard floors with hot, soapy water, then vacuum carpets to remove particles. Check your air filter, as well, to make sure that it hasn’t become clogged with debris before you turn your HVAC system on again.

Opening your windows can make your home feel fresh and new again, but you must consider your HVAC system in the process. Following the tips above will protect your investment in your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump. If you’d like us to service your HVAC system to make sure it’s running efficiently, call One Source Heating & Cooling at (205) 509-1929.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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