There is a lot of “conventional wisdom” out there pertaining to heating and heating systems. Just because it’s called wisdom, though, does not necessarily make it good advice. It may not even be true, for that matter. Here are three common heating myths you should be aware of.
Myth #1: An operational heating system is a happy heating system.
Just as all people from Germany are Europeans, but not all Europeans are German, the mere fact that your heating system is working does not necessarily mean that it is in great shape.
Furnaces, fans and other heating components can keep on chugging along, even if they are in need of maintenance or repair. However, they are often working nearly as well as they should or could be. For example, a furnace with a dirty filter will still work for a while, but not as efficiently, so it will cost more to operate. That is, until the filter becomes too clogged and the whole thing breaks down.
To make sure your heating system is working right, listen for unusual or loud noises, observe to see if it stays on longer than usual to heat a room to the same temperature and check the filter regularly.
Myth #2: Changing the filter is enough.
Cleaning and/or changing your furnace filter are great practices to get into. It not only increases the efficiency of your furnace and extends its life; it also improves your home’s air quality.
However, that should not be the extent of your furnace maintenance routine. In addition to checking the filter, vacuum your vents once a month. Keep your furnace room clean to avoid having debris and dirt sucked up into the fan. For fuel burning furnaces, check the pilot light to make sure it is burning clean and bright.
And, of course, have your whole heating system inspected at least once a year to keep it in pristine operating condition.
Myth #3: The higher the thermostat is set, the faster the house will heat up.
This is a common misconception, and at first, it seems to make logical sense.
However, upping the setting on the thermostat only changes the maximum temperature that the furnace heats to, not the rate at which it heats. Your furnace will heat your home at the same rate no matter what the thermostat setting is. A higher setting just means the furnace will be on longer and waste more energy.
Instead, simply set the thermostat at a reasonable temperature and be patient.
Avoid these three myths and you can save money both now and in the future. And if you’re ever unsure about how to maintain or keep up with your HVAC systems, call in a professional. Even if your system isn’t due for maintenance, it is good to learn what’s next on your to do list.
Think back to winter. How did your heating system hold up? Was your family warm and comfortable all season long? Did you frequently struggle and fight with your furnace to get it working right? Were your energy bills through the roof? Depending on your answers to these questions, it may be time to think about a new heating system. In fact, for maximum efficiency and savings, this fall may be the best time for you to upgrade your whole HVAC system, including cooling.
New System = Savings
The biggest argument that most homeowners have against upgrading their HVAC equipment is the cost. Yes, getting new HVAC equipment is an expense. And yes, it can be quite costly. However, new HVAC systems are so efficient and pay for themselves so quickly with savings on your energy bill that they should be considered a sound investment, especially when switching from older systems. Whether you heat your home with oil, gas or electric heat, a new, efficient system can save you plenty on your monthly bill.
Aside from saving on routine costs, there is also the matter of repair costs. Have you had to have your HVAC system repaired in the last year, aside from routine maintenance? Repairs can be expensive, and if you have an older system that breaks down frequently, the costs can really add up.
When you also consider the hassle of fussing with an old HVAC system and the convenient comfort of a new model, you may realize it is time to upgrade.
Not Just Heating
When looking at a new heating system, you may want to consider upgrading the rest of your HVAC system as well. Although it seems counterintuitive to upgrade your cooling system just before winter, there are benefits.
The main benefit of upgrading your heating and cooling systems is that you can get what is called a matched system, in which all the components are designed by the manufacturer to work with one another. This creates maximum efficiency, which meets the ultimate in comfort and savings for you and your family.
With fall upon us, and winter not far behind, now is the time to think about whether your home could benefit from an HVAC upgrade.