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Given that almost every American home has a cooling and heating system, it’s no surprise that a number of myths and misconceptions have sprung up around HVAC systems and how they work. Unfortunately, these myths lead to homeowners wasting energy, encountering system problems, and experiencing installation issues.

In this article, we’ll tackle the five biggest and most popular HVAC myths out there and discuss the truth—or lack thereof—behind them.

Here are the 5 of the most pervasive HVAC myths:

Myth #1: Tune-ups are optional

This is far from the truth. Annual maintenance is crucial. It keeps your cooling and heating systems operating effectively and efficiently, and can even play a role in extending the lifespan of the system. When you skip tune-up appointments, you’re putting your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump at risk.

At Ace Air, we recommend you schedule a spring tune-up for your cooling system and a fall tune-up for your heating system. This helps ensure that either system is ready for the season ahead. Our team even makes getting tune-ups easy: be sure to check out our Silver Club for an easy way to save time and money.

Myth #2: You should close vents to save energy

This is not the case. When you close vents and registers, you block cooling and heating from getting to that room. However, your HVAC system still has to work to cool or heat that space, using the same—or more—energy as before.

There are additional impacts of closing vents, as well. For one, your system needs proper air intake to function: blocking off air intake channels can lead to issues such as frozen coils in the summer. Second, the comfort of your home could be negatively impacted, as an imbalance of hot and cold zones in different rooms is created by the blocked vents.

Myth #3: Shut off that AC unit when you’re away

This may make sense at first glance, but it’s actually less energy efficient to shut off your air conditioner when you’re away on a hot day. Today’s air conditioning systems are relatively efficient at maintaining temperatures, but expend a lot of energy when they need to drastically change the temperature of your entire home.

If you leave the thermostat on, but just turn it up by a few degrees before you leave, you’ll use less energy than if you turn it off completely, allow the house to heat up, and then turn it all the way down when you return.

Myth #4: Set your thermostat to 50 if you really want your home to get cool fast

Every air conditioner, furnace, and heat pump has a maximum speed with which it can adjust the temperature of your home in any direction. Turning the dial all the way in one direction or another makes no difference in how quickly the home will cool down or heat up.

You can see this with some smart thermostats that display an estimated time until the room reaches the desired temperature. You’ll notice that even relatively small adjustments take about 10-15 minutes on average.

Myth #5: The bigger the system, the better

Buying an air conditioner or a furnace isn’t like buying a house. It’s more like buying a suit. You want the right fit, not just the biggest system for your money. In fact, an HVAC system that is too big for your home is likely going to experience a number of performance and efficiency problems. The same things goes for a system that is too small for your home.

One of the reasons why Ace Air offers free in-home estimates on new cooling and heating systems is because it gives our technicians an opportunity to take precise measurements so we can match your home and comfort needs to the right Carrier or Trane system.

Get the truth about your HVAC systems:

Debunking 5 Popular HVAC Myths