The Truth about HVAC “Life Hacks”
The internet is an inspiring place full of creative and handy “life hacks,” that people love to use to make their lives easier. However, some areas of the home are just not good places to attempt diy “hacks,” and in many instances they can be dangerous! In almost every case, proper care of a heating and air system is best left to a professional with extensive training and specialized tools. Check the list below to see if you’ve been guilty of these top 3 heating and air “life hack,” mistakes.
1. Do Keep Things Fresh, Don’t Add Fragrance to Ducts
Keeping registers clean and changing filters often are great ways to keep your home’s air quality top notch, however, some homeowners try to get creative with their air freshening techniques and end up doing more harm than good. Any “life hacks,” that suggest placing air fresheners or any other fragrance source inside ducts or directly onto registers are a disaster waiting to happen. Foreign objects forgotten in vents can do damage and cause air leaks, or at best become sources of strange, unpleasant smells later on. Spraying anything onto your filters directly should also be avoided, as this will impede their ability to filter the air.
2. Do Conserve Heat, Don’t Close Off Empty Rooms
When trying to save heat in the winter, it’s smart to avoid heating unintended places like your garage, attic, or even the outdoors. What you shouldn’t do is fall prey to the common misconception that closing the vents to unused rooms will save you money.
Your heating and air systems are designed to move a set amount of air, chosen for your home’s size. When certain rooms to your house are shut off from the heat, two things can happen. At first, your system will continue to move the same amount of air as before, but now there are less places for it to go, which causes a huge increase in pressure on your ducts. Depending on the kind of system you have, the increased pressure will either continue and cause duct damage or your system will lower it’s airflow. If the airflow is lowered for a long period of time in a machine designed to push a larger amount of air, certain parts of the unit will either become frozen or overheated, depending on the time of year.
The damages resulting from falsely manipulating the airflow in your home wildly outweigh any supposed savings you would receive in “using less heat.” In reality, your unit is actually working harder the entire time to compensate! Leave your vents open, and simply turn the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees closer to the outside air if you’re trying to save money.
3. Do Think About Function, Don’t Put Style First
Two things we see cause major problems for homeowners are covers over thermostats and landscaping near outdoor units. While both of these creative decorations can be found all over the internet, and many look quite good, they are actually causing serious harm to your home and your unit. Blocked airflow to either your thermostat or outdoor unit will cause an extreme loss of efficiency at best, and at worst can be a serious fire hazard.
While many “life hacks,” are all well and good, you’re HVAC system is just too complex of a machine to try to manipulate. If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to improve the efficiency of your home, check out other posts right here on our blog for ideas! If you’d like to get your home checked out for diy damages by a previous owner, or if you’re concerned about lost efficiency, visit us online or give us a call at 1-800-404-0371 to speak with a comfort specialist today.