Changing seasons call for shifting HVAC usage. When you start using your furnace or air conditioning system at the onset of a season, you will usually hear a few standard ‘warnings’ or life hacks regarding their use. They’re supposed to make sense in warming up or cooling down your home more efficiently, but it’s important to know which ones are sound advice and which is just hot air (pun intended).
#1 Putting the fan on auto wears it out more quickly.
Homeowners might be led to believe that leaving a fan running continuously makes it wear out faster. As a matter of fact, damage accumulates more rapidly as the fan turns on and off throughout the day. Setting the fan to ‘On’ lets it filter the air continuously, uninterrupted. It also soothes hot or cold spots in the house in the process.
#2 Monthly filter changes apply only to small cartridge filters.
Monthly replacement of filters only applies to systems with a small “cartridge” filter. A thicker “media” filter has more surface area, negating the need for constant changing. Thicker filters require replacement only three times a year. The experts at Legacy Heating & Air maintain the importance of a clean filter to maximize your furnace’s efficiency. Have a certified technician perform furnace filter adjustments during scheduled tune-ups. Verdict: False
#3 Air conditioners need blankets during winter.
Covering your air conditioner during winter season only traps moisture and increases the chance of mold infestation. You don’t want to risk having mold, a known allergenic, seep into your HVAC system. AC units do not need covering, as their design allows them to withstand harsh outdoor elements. Verdict: False
#4 Programmable thermostats save energy.
If you know that you and your family adhere to a strict schedule, such as leaving the house and coming home at predictable hours, then, by all means, enjoy 10% savings on energy costs with a programmable thermostat. If your schedules are a little more variable, the frequent shifts in temperature only punish the system, making it less efficient.
Verdict: True and False
These are only a few of the common beliefs surrounding furnace/AC usage, but much more pose theories that are even more ridiculous. Remember that when in doubt about your HVAC system’s performance, it is worth consulting professionals for reliable advice.