Homeowners often come across – and internalize – various myths and misconceptions related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In this article, we aim to shed some light and expertise on four of the most common ones.
Properly maintaining and operating HVAC equipment is crucial for comfort, indoor air quality, energy efficiency and longevity of systems. However, inaccurate information can lead homeowners astray. From underestimating the value of maintenance to confusing normal operating sounds with problems, it’s important to separate HVAC facts from fiction.
We’ll leverage our knowledge to debunk the myths and provide troubleshooting tips and best practices. Proper HVAC system operation hinges on making informed decisions – so let’s dive in to learn more!
Myth 1: Maintenance is Optional
One of the biggest HVAC myths out there is that maintenance is optional or only necessary when something breaks. This misconception can lead to a host of issues down the road.
In reality, regular maintenance is crucial for identifying and addressing minor problems before they spiral into major, costly repairs. It also keeps systems running efficiently.
Here are just some of the benefits of yearly maintenance:
- Ensures proper refrigerant charge. Low refrigerant affects efficiency and can damage compressors.
- Cleans components like evaporator/condenser coils. Dirty coils reduce efficiency.
- Checks for correct airflow. Unbalanced airflow leads to discomfort and moisture issues.
- Verifies safety controls are working properly to prevent catastrophic failures.
- Extends overall lifespan of HVAC equipment. Lack of maintenance leads to premature breakdowns.
During maintenance checks, reputable companies like Attic Man also take a consultative approach to suggest upgrades for improving comfort, air quality and efficiency. Visit their website to learn more about HVAC maintenance for Florida homeowners.
The bottom line is that maintenance provides substantial ROI compared to the nominal yearly cost. So skip it at your own peril.
Myth 2: Bigger is Always Better
A common refrain we hear from homeowners is “bigger is always better” when it comes to HVAC systems. The myth here is that oversized equipment automatically means better comfort and efficiency.
In reality, an oversized system often performs worse in both categories compared to a properly sized one. Here’s why.
Oversized air conditioners have excess cooling capacity, so they reach set temperatures faster and shut off before dehumidifying indoor air. This leaves homes clammy. Properly sized units run long enough to remove moisture.
Furnaces also suffer from “short-cycling” when oversized. Rather than providing a steady, even supply of warm air, they blast heat briefly then shut down. This leads to temperature fluctuations and cold spots.
Additionally, units that cycle on/off frequently strain components and waste energy during start-up. Properly sized equipment maximizes efficiency and comfort with sustained run times.
When paired with quality installation, optimal sizing ensures systems can handle peak loads without wasting energy. Advanced software and building plans help recommend perfectly sized components.
Myth 3: Noisy Equipment Means Something is Wrong
HVAC systems naturally produce some noise during operation. However, homeowners often assume loud sounds equate to problems. In most cases, there’s no cause for concern.
For example, the initial roar when A/C units kick on is normal. It occurs as refrigerant flows and components like fans and compressors activate. The noise may seem louder at the start of cooling season if dirt accumulated in the off months.
Other common innocuous noises include:
- Hissing/gurgling from refrigerant flowing through coils
- Vibration of loose ductwork or other connected components
- Expansion/contraction of metals as they heat up/cool down
- While certain loud, unusual noises do require investigation, typical operating sounds do not. Distinguishing normal audio cues from problematic ones helps avoid unnecessary repairs.
The bottom line is that noise alone rarely indicates an HVAC issue. Only call a technician if decibel levels seem abnormal for your system.
Myth 4: DIY Repairs are Wise
The final HVAC myth we’ll explore is that homeowners can DIY repairs and maintenance. Unfortunately, complex HVAC work often proves overwhelming for non-professionals.
Consider a few reasons to call the experts instead:
- Safety – HVAC systems have high voltage components that can seriously injure amateurs. Certified technicians follow rigorous safety protocols.
- Code Compliance – Only seasoned pros consistently adhere to building codes and industry best practices.
- Correct Diagnosing – HVAC problems often stem from complex, multi-layered issues only an expert can accurately analyze.
- Proper Tools & Equipment – Certain technical tasks require specialized tools, gauges and instruments.
- Wraparound Service – Qualified companies handle permitting, repairs, maintenance, warranties and follow-up.
While basic air filter changes make sense for DIY, HVAC systems have too many intricacies for amateur repairs. Protect your investment and safety by partnering with certified technicians instead.
We hope this article separates HVAC fact from fiction when it comes to system maintenance, sizing, diagnostics and repairs. By avoiding these common misconceptions, homeowners can maximize comfort and efficiency. If you have any other HVAC questions, conduct additional research or reach out to qualified technicians. With proper expertise, homeowners can make truly informed decisions about their systems.