Dispelling HVAC Energy Efficiency Misconceptions
Almost every homeowner has an idea on how to maintain the efficiency of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioner (HVAC) unit. Unfortunately, some of these ideas don't work, and others may have the opposite effect. Here are three examples of such misconceptions:
Raise the Thermostat to Heat the Room Faster
When you come back to the house to find it is cold, do you turn up the thermostat so that it can heat up faster? Some people do that with the hope that the house will heat faster when the thermostat is cranked up, but this is just a misconception.
Most furnaces are designed to heat up the house at the same rate, their optimal performance until the desired temperature is reached. Therefore, setting the thermostat high doesn't warm up the house at a higher rate, it only makes the thermostat run for a longer time before turning off. In fact, you can easily overheat the house that way. In the end, you heat up your house at the same rate but use up more energy.
Use Room Heaters to Save Energy
Some people resort to this option if they don't want to heat the whole house. They figure that central heaters waste a lot of energy by heating up rooms they aren't using. For example, you may be tempted to resort to space heaters if you just want to heat the bedroom, living room, and kitchen.
The reality is that this reasoning only makes sense if you are using the space heater in one room or two tiny ones. Anything more than that and you aren't saving any energy; you are actually wasting it. This is because central heaters are far more efficient than space heaters. Also, space heaters use electricity, which is more expensive than the natural gas that furnaces use. Therefore, anytime you want to heat up more than one room, turn on the central heater.
Leave The Thermostat When Going Out for a Short Period
Those who do this believe that it saves them energy because it takes more energy to heat up the house than to maintain it at the same temperature. Unfortunately, this is wrong because the furnace always outputs the same energy. A house gets warmer not because the furnace is working hard (by using more energy); it gets warmer when the furnace works for a long time. Therefore, leaving your thermostat on will waste energy because the furnace will still be consuming it at the same rate (its usual, optimal rate). It is much better to turn it off when leaving (so that it doesn't use any energy while you are away) and back on when you come back to the house.
For more information and help with HVAC maintenance to keep it working efficiently, talk with an AC repair company in your area.