Since the turn of the 20th century when HVAC was first introduced, we’ve had plenty of time for falsehoods and misperceptions about systems to gain traction. Fear not, climate control lover. We’re here to dispel some of the most common HVAC myths so you won’t fall for them!
Myth #1: Preventative Maintenance Is a Waste of Money
To be fair, we hate paying to “fix” things that aren’t broken as much as the next person. But consider an automotive vehicle, which has lots of moving parts with varying levels of usage. Getting proper maintenance on a vehicle (or an HVAC system) extends the life of its key components, making sure you don’t have a more catastrophic failure down the road. In both cases, it can also make things run more efficiently, reducing wasted energy and money. In most cases, routine service will save you more than it costs!
Myth #2: Turning HVAC Systems on and off Is the Best way to Save
While we applaud the energy-saving intention of this effort, turning off and on a system frequently may not be the best way to reduce costs. Not only does this create more energy use (because the system draws a lot of power to get started), it can produce more wear and tear. Classic lose-lose. Instead, use a scheduling feature (if available) for your temperature setpoints so you can gradually increase the temperature over time and, conversely, bring it down.
Myth #3: Spaces Heat Up Faster if you Maximize the Setpoint
This one seems to make sense, but it’s not how HVAC systems work; they don’t produce hotter air because of the setpoint increase. On top of that, allowing a system to heat up a space more gradually can improve system efficiency and prevent damage.
Myth #4: Closing Vents Saves Money
Some people believe it’s wasteful to heat or cool unoccupied spaces. Those people are correct. However, closing the vents in those spaces to shut off the air supply isn’t an effective trick. With centralized heating and air systems, the amount of air pushed through the vents won’t change; the system will keep working until the desired setpoint is achieved at the location of the thermostat. Not only does closing the vents not reduce energy consumption, it can also damage the system by creating back pressure that could force the blower fan to run longer.
Myth #5: All Commercial Systems Are the Same
Another misunderstanding of commercial HVAC systems is that they’re all the same, just sized differently based on the building’s square footage. In reality, different buildings have different heating and cooling needs based on type of occupancy, layout, location and numerous other factors. If you’re looking for ways to maximize efficiency or just better understand your system, work with a licensed professional for best results.
So there you have it, folks. Consider these myths debunked. And if there are others you’d like to see featured (and dispelled), let us know. Otherwise, happy climate control!