Your heating and cooling system is responsible for a large portion of your energy costs each month, so it’s fair for you to want to make sure you’re doing what you can to keep that cost down. However, there’s so much information out there about what to do and what to avoid in order to keep your bill down. We’re breaking down what some of the most common energy-saving myths we here are, why they’re not true, and what you should be doing to make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating and cooling system without breaking the bank.
1. Keeping the Temperature the Same all Day is Cost-Effective
Less energy is used by your heating and cooling system when the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperature is small. Set your home’s temperature as close to the outdoor temperature as possible when you’re not home to help reduce energy costs.
2. It Doesn’t Matter Where a Thermostat is Located in a Home or Business
Your thermostat plays a crucial role in telling your heating and cooling system when to turn on and off, and your thermostat only knows the temperature in its immediate surrounding area. Because of this, placement is important. If your thermostat is near a window or is exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time throughout the day, the thermostat’s sensor could incorrectly heat or cool your home and not run as efficiently. Additionally, a thermostat near a kitchen could be exposed to heat from some of the larger appliances, which could skew readings of the actual temperature. These issues can waste energy and spike up your energy bill. Talk with a professional HVAC contractor to ensure your thermostat is properly placed in an area of your home where it can be the most efficient.
3. Having an Energy-Efficient Unit Automatically Saves More Money
While an energy-efficient unit is a great place to start, it shouldn’t be looked at as your one-way ticket to a low energy bill. Your unit can be more efficient as long as additional factors are working with it and not against it. Your home needs to have properly sealed windows and good insulation. Most importantly, your heating and cooling system needs to be properly sized for your home or business. If a system is too small, it will struggle to heat or cool the space properly and you might feel the need to try to turn the temperature higher or lower to compensate which could waste energy. Additionally, if the system is too large, the cycle will kick off and on constantly since there won’t be a uniform temperature throughout your house.. Certified HVAC technicians can work with you to determine what heating and cooling system is the right choice for your home or business.
4. Programmable Thermostats Save Money and Energy
Similar to installing an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, programmable thermostats won’t automatically save you energy. These kinds of thermostats are a great tool if used correctly. Try to establish a specific temperature for your thermostat to stay at while your home is occupied. Schedule your programmable thermostat to increase or decrease the temperature by 8-12 degrees while the home is empty helps take the strain off of your heating and cooling system.
5. Adjusting the Thermostat Temperature When You Leave Home Doesn’t Save That Much Money
People often avoid changing their thermostat, because they believe it will take more energy for the heating and cooling system to regulate the temperature when they get back, however that’s not always the case. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling simply by turning your thermostat back by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. Try to do this in waves so your thermostat doesn’t make that drastic of a jump immediately. For example, you may have your thermostat set to 74 degrees at the beginning of the day, at 1 PM it drops down to 71, at 4 PM it goes down to 68, and at 5:30 it can go down to 67 degrees. As long as the temperature changes last for a decent amount of time, you’ll be able to save on energy costs.
6. Changing Your Thermostat Several Degrees Will Heat or Cool Your Home Faster
Although it may seem like the obvious way to heat or cool your home quickly, this method forces the system to work longer and harder to adequately cool the space. Your system distributes air throughout the home at the same rate regardless of temperature. If you’re in need of a quick temperature change, stick to using a fan until your system can reach the desired temperature.
7. Closing Vents in Low-Traffic Rooms Saves Energy
It may seem like this is a good option at first. Why heat or cool a room that no one is in? However, closing vents affects air pressure balance in the air ducts throughout your home. Blocked off vents result in air seeping out of air duct seams which ends up forcing your heating and cooling system to use more energy than what’s necessary.
8. HVAC Filters Only Need to be Changed Once a Year
Air filters serve the purpose of protecting your heating and cooling unit while sifting out allergens, dander, and other particles that could be redistributed back into the air. The dirtier an air filter is, the harder it is for air to pass through, putting additional stress on your system that could result in increased energy bills and potential for your system to break down sooner.
We recommend replacing your air filter once a month to ensure your air is clean and moving throughout your home without any restrictions. We offer a variety of air filter options and can even help clean or replace air filters as necessary.
9. Maintenance for Your HVAC System Isn’t Necessary Unless It’s Malfunctioning
Think about your car. Every 5,000-10,000 miles you take your vehicle in for inspection to make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible and avoid any issues while on the road. Your heating and cooling system should be treated the same way. We typically don’t pay too much attention to it unless it isn’t performing as we need it to. Routine service checks help ensure your HVAC system is in good condition and allows a certified technician to point out any potential issues that could lead to costly repairs. We recommend getting your system checked bi-annually, during spring and fall before heavy-use seasons.
Schedule a Service Check With Wyckoff Heating & Cooling
Our Wyckoff Peace of Mind Service Plan provides customers with semi-annual appointments where we send a SAVE-certified technician to visit your home and go through our heating and cooling system checkpoint list to ensure your system is prepared to take on whatever temperatures the weather brings. This investment ends up saving a lot of money and hassle while allowing you to rest easy knowing your HVAC system is effectively doing its job. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!