HVAC: Home Heating & Air Conditioning Myths

Nov 20 2019
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Air conditioning has never been a necessary for me here at Grandma’s house. The last myth on this list is that the features of a home don’t have a lot to do with keeping it warm or cool which is, of course, a myth. I have thanked the universe countless times that I paid for the very best insulation on the market in this house which means my home is incredibly efficient. It was probably the best money I spent in the entire renovation besides new windows! Besides that my home is incredibly shaded, it can be 100 degrees outside and my living room has never been above 80 which is totally fine by me. Besides that a fan in a window or two can make a HUGE difference!

My harmon pellet stove is incredibly clean burning, how I clean it, the glass, maintain it and the work involved in owning a pellet stove, I love it!
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Like old wives’ tales, home heating and air conditioning myths abound on the internet and in family lore. Many of these misconceptions are based on outdated technology but some are simply inaccurate. Understanding some basic facts about HVAC systems and equipment can help you develop your own energy and cost savings strategy.

How many of these myths do you believe are true and how many can you debunk yourself?

Myth 1: Ceiling & Floor Fans Help Cool the House

According to climate control experts, using ceiling or box fans in addition to your air conditioner will allow you to set the thermostat several degrees higher than you otherwise would and remain comfortable.

Many people believe that this is possible because the supplemental fans help to cool the house. In reality, fans only help to cool you.

This is known as the wind chill effect, a meteorological phenomenon you’re probably familiar with. Fans simply allow you and your family to perceive a cooler temperature. Consequently, there is no reason to keep fans running when you’re away from home or even out of the room.

Not surprisingly, these same principles apply to space heaters.

Myth 2: AC Systems Draw In and Condition Outside Air

In reality, HVAC systems are sealed air systems.

When the AC is running, for example, the equipment draws air from inside the home (through the intake vent, where the filter lives), runs it over condenser coils filled with refrigerant to cool it, and then pumps it back in through the vents. At no time does any air from this closed system enter or exit the home.

The confusion arises from the fact that hot air is expelled outdoors by the condenser fan. This hot air is generated through the refrigerant conversion process and pushed out by a separate set of condenser coils.

Myth 3: Evaporative Cooling is More Cost-Effective than AC

Operating an evaporative or swamp cooler draws, minute for minute, 75 percent less electricity than a forced air AC unit.

That may sound significant but, while the air conditioner cycles on and off based on the thermostat’s setting, an evap cooler does not utilize a thermostat. It’s on or it’s off. When you go to bed, you switch on the cooler and it runs all night. As the outdoor temperature heats up, you may run the cooler all day and all night. Even with its comparatively low per-minute power consumption, the number of hours the cooler runs quickly catches up to the AC’s periodic power use. I

In addition, an evaporative unit depends on a consistent flow of water over the cooler pads, the evaporation of which cools the air. When you consider the cost of the water in addition to the other factors, you may find that the savings are negligible.

Myth 4: Design Features of Your Home Don’t Affect HVAC Performance

The last myth that needs debunking is that your home’s design features and interior finishes don’t affect the way your HVAC equipment performs.

For example, having blackout shades on your windows will help block the sun’s rays and allow your AC to work more efficiently. Installing LED lighting won’t heat your home up as much as incandescent fixtures, requiring your system to work less hard to cool the space to the desired temperature.

Even your home’s flooring materials can affect now hard your heating and cooling have to work. If you live in a warmer climate, hard surface flooring will help keep your home cooler in the summer than carpeting. In colder regions, installing carpeting or putting down rugs will help hold the heat during the winter and remove that feeling of walking on cold floors.

Now that we’ve busted some of the most common heating and air conditioning myths, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your HVAC system’s operation and maintenance.

Like old wives’ tales, home heating and air conditioning myths abound on the internet and in family lore. Many of these misconceptions are based on outdated
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)


  1. November 21, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Thank you for the very informative post. Some great information here!

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