Energy efficiency is a hot topic in the heating and cooling industry. That’s because no one wants to spend more on home comfort than needed. Unfortunately, pervasive myths often have homeowners spending far more than they need on heating and cooling. Check out these common misunderstandings to see if you’ve fallen prey to any energy efficiency myths while managing the temperatures in your St. Louis, Missouri, home.
Extreme Thermostat Settings = Faster Comfort
There’s a common misconception that setting your thermostat extremely high or low will help the home heat or cool faster. Telling your system to heat the home to 88 degrees won’t help it reach your target of 70 degrees any faster than simply setting it to 70 degrees.
The reality is that this practice will only waste energy if you don’t adjust the thermostat setting as soon as your system hits the temperature you want. Don’t ask your system to exceed your preferred comfort settings. Instead, simply set it to the temperature that you need for your space. As a result, you’ll avoid wasting energy and straining your heating or cooling system.
Closing Vents Improves Efficiency
It’s easy to understand why so many customers fall victim to this myth. It seems to make sense that closing vents in unused rooms would eliminate the need to heat or cool these spaces, thus decreasing your energy use. Unfortunately, the rooms in your home aren’t completely separate from one another. The layout of your ductwork is designed to cover the whole house, and this is what your system will try to do.
Closing vents only alters the balance of air pressure in your home. This can actually decrease your energy efficiency over time. It’s best to keep your vents open. A more efficient way to create zones in your home is to install multiple ductless mini-split systems instead.
Always Keep the Ceiling Fan On for Cooling
Ceiling fans don’t actually cool your home. They simply create a wind-chill effect that you can feel on your skin. If you’re sitting in the room with your fan, it’ll make the space feel cooler. Therefore, it allows you to set your thermostat to a higher temperature without sacrificing comfort.
However, leaving the room completely negates this effect. If there’s no one home to enjoy the wind-chill effect of your ceiling fan, save energy by turning it off. Running a ceiling fan in an empty home won’t do any good, as fans don’t actually lower the temperature.
It’s Best to Adjust the Thermostat Often
Some homeowners get in the habit of tweaking their thermostat settings frequently throughout the day. The thought here is that any time you’re comfortable, you should turn the system off so you don’t use any additional energy. However, the most efficient way to use your HVAC system is to maintain set temperatures over long periods of time. The more often you adjust your settings, the more energy you’ll use.
Most Air Loss Happens Through Windows
Windows are only one area where you might experience air loss. ENERGY STAR indicates that 20 to 30 percent of air loss happens through leaky ductwork in the average home. You’re also likely to lose air through other parts of the home if you’re not keeping up with the maintenance needed to create a well-sealed envelope.
You can also lose air through gaps around doors, baseboards and electrical outlets. Hot air will rise and get lost through the ceiling if you don’t have proper insulation. If you’re looking to minimize lost air, begin by sealing and insulating your ductwork, and move out from there to mindfully insulate and seal other places around your home. You’ll ultimately create a space where your heated or cooled air stays where you want it.
If you’re looking for smart ways to reduce energy use in your home, call Averill Heating & Air Conditioning at 314-328-0437. We can help you evaluate the efficiency of your current installation and explore your options for a newer and more energy-efficient HVAC system.
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