When it comes to maintaining your HVAC system, not all advice is created equal. And at North East Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we’ve heard it all—including some advice that could be costing you money and compromising the health of your HVAC system. Below is a roundup of some of the worst advice we’ve heard over the years.
“Close the vents to rooms that aren’t in use to save energy.”
On a surface level, this can sound appealing—after all, why waste energy to heat or cool rooms that aren’t being used?
However, your HVAC system should be properly sized to heat and cool your entire home. Closing off the vents (actually called register grilles) to one or more rooms turns an appropriately sized system into an oversized one. And counterintuitively, an oversized system is prone to short cycling, leading to more wear and tear and higher energy bills.
Additionally, restricting airflow within a space can increase air pressure within your duct system and, over time, damage your HVAC system. Pressure buildup can lead to duct leaks, moisture problems, increased wear on the fan motor, and doesn’t actually help at all with decreasing energy usage. Air balancing should be done by professionals and does not involve closing any of the register grilles in each room.
“Buy the biggest system you can afford.”
As discussed above, a system that is too large for your house won’t work as efficiently as a right-sized system. Your HVAC professional can work with you when purchasing and installing a new system to ensure it’s the right size.
“Buying a higher quality air filter means you won’t have to change it as frequently.”
Although a high-quality air filter may remove more allergens and other airborne materials, these filters still need to be cleaned or changed on a regular basis. In fact, these filters remove more particles from the air and will actually clog faster than cheap filters that let particles pass through. Too much dust, dirt, and debris buildup on the air filter, regardless of the quality, can prevent proper air flow, wreaking havoc on your HVAC system.
“It’s best to keep your outdoor system covered during rainy season.”
Your outdoor unit was built to withstand weather conditions so covering it up isn’t necessary. A covered outdoor HVAC unit can overwork itself, causing potentially catastrophic damage. Your HVAC unit should be uncovered and free from obstructions such as weeds and debris any time your unit is on.
“Turning on the fans in your room will help your HVAC system do its job better.”
Your HVAC system has its own set of fans that help circulate air through the vents and into the rooms of your home. So while using fans may make the people in your home more comfortable, they won’t help your HVAC system.
“If you get a new HVAC system, you won’t need to worry about maintaining it for a few years.”
Even the newest HVAC systems require some routine maintenance to ensure they remain in good working condition for decades to come. Scheduling regular maintenance twice a year can also help identify potential problems before they turn into urgent issues.
If you’re curious about the validity of other HVAC advice you’ve heard or wondering whether your HVAC unit could use a checkup, North East Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing can help. Our experienced technicians can diagnose a wide variety of HVAC issues, perform preventive maintenance, and provide professional tips on your system. Just give us a call at (210) 658-0111 or visit our website today.