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5 Common Mistakes That Reduce Efficiency and Strain Your HVAC System

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
Regular maintenance is important to keep your HVAC system working efficiently and effectively, but even with excellent maintenance, there are common mistakes you can make. These mistakes reduce the efficiency of the system or strain it, increasing the risk of a breakdown or repairs.

If your HVAC system hasn't been working as well as you'd like, check out these five common mistakes so you can avoid them.

1. Closing Vents and Doors to Rooms 

It may seem like closing vents and doors to rooms you aren't using is a great way to create zoned heating and cooling, but unless your HVAC system actually has a zoned heating/cooling feature, this behavior only strains the system.

Closed vents force the system to work harder (which increases wear and tear) because it's pushing the same amount of air through fewer exits. Closing the doors to rooms you aren't using can create vacuums, which may pull heated air from the rest of the home to create drafts. During the summer, these closed rooms may allow heat to seep into the rest of the home.

2. Not Cleaning the Filter or Ductwork 

Depending on the type of filter you use and how many allergens (dust, pet hair, pet dander, etc.) are in the air, you may need to clean or replace your filter every 30 days to six months.

Keeping the filter clean promotes an efficient system, but it also helps keep dust and other debris out of the ductwork. The more grime that collects in the ducts, the narrower they becoming, making it harder for the system to push the air through the ducts.

You can clean your filter yourself, but you may need regular professional cleaning for the ducts.

3. Having the Wrong Thermostat 

Your problem may be as simple as having the wrong thermostat. Older thermostats aren't as effective. Newer ones give you more control, such as timers, so the heat automatically shuts off or turns on for you.

Similarly, you may have the right thermostat, but it may be in the wrong location. If your thermostat is too close to something producing heat (stove, TV, computer, etc.), that heat can affect the thermostat so your home doesn't get as warm as you'd like.  

4. Choosing the Wrong Sized System 

In some cases, your system may be inefficient because it is too big or too small.

If the system is too big, it will effectively heat and cool your home well, but the system will go through cycles quicker (turning off and back on), which puts added stress on the system.

If the system is too small, you may need to use a lot more energy and money to reach the desired temperature. On the other hand, even if you do crank up the system, it may never get your home as warm or as cool as you'd like.

5. Installing the Exterior Unit in the Wrong Location 

If you have central air-conditioning, you'll need to store the exterior unit somewhere outside, but choosing the right location is critical. If you install the system in an area that receives a lot of sunlight, the system will likely need to work harder because there is more direct sunlight and heat hitting it and keeping it warm. It's best to install the exterior unit somewhere shady so it remains cool.

The right HVAC system can keep your home comfortable all year long, but there are so many common mistakes you can make to reduce efficiency and strain the system.

If you believe your system is in need of repairs or maintenance, or if you would like more information on how to keep your system efficient, contact us today at Powers Heating & Cooling.