AC Service | Don’t Make These 4 HVAC Mistakes
AC Service | Minor mistakes with your HVAC system can have big impacts on durability, efficiency and operating costs.
Sometimes you see something that stops you in your tracks. Recently on a popular online pinboard, I saw someone had pinned a picture with a caption that described a “genius solution” to an ugly thermostat. The homeowner had built a decorative picture frame around their thermostat and installed a hinged lid with a decorative knob to cover the control panel.
The homeowner may have been pleased with the aesthetics, but it’s a terrible idea to cover your thermostat. A decorative thermostat cover means it won’t be able to accurately read the indoor temperature, making the system run inefficiently and compromising indoor comfort levels.
There are other solutions to an unsightly thermostat that won’t negatively impact your HVAC system’s performance, such as upgrading to a new smart thermostat with a minimalist look or having a qualified HVAC technician move your old one to a less conspicuous area.
This got us thinking about other mistakes that homeowners may be making that are bad for their heating and cooling units. Here are four other common missteps:
1. Heating up the thermostat
Covering up a thermostat will certainly heat it up, but direct sunlight and lamps, televisions, stereos or other heat generators that are too close can accidentally drive up the temperature reading and overwork the air conditioner or underwork the furnace. Leave your thermostat alone and let it work as it was designed.
2. Blocking air return vents
Vents are not the most attractive element in a home, but when you try to hide them beneath furniture or behind drapes, the system isn’t getting the air flow it needs to run efficiently and maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Keep them uncovered and dust them often for a healthy, more efficient HVAC system.
3. Using a super-efficient air filter
Some people assume a higher number listed on an air filter package must mean it’s better, while others reach for whatever filter is least expensive. A cheap flimsy filter will result in poor indoor air quality, but a very efficient air filter — which is indicated by a higher MERV rating — can cause too much drag in air flow for the standard residential HVAC system to effectively handle, especially if it is an older system.
Instead of going by the price tag or the manufacturer’s marketing, check your HVAC manual for recommendations or talk to a professional. The best air filter strikes a balance between airborne particulate removal and overall heating and cooling system efficiency.
4. Closing vents and doors to unused areas
This can decrease the efficiency of a central air conditioning system and cause humidity problems. It’s a myth that closing off rooms will save energy, even if the rooms aren’t used very often. Closing registers and doors for a forced-air heating and cooling system in a typical, insulated home will actually make the unit work harder and cost you more.
For more information and tips contact your trusted AC service company – Air Quality Control at 727-469-3832