HVAC – heating, ventilation and air conditioning – systems may not be the simplest system in your home, but if you are like most homeowners, you likely know enough to “get you by.” You know what your thermostat does and how to use it, and you know what settings to use to save money.

Unfortunately, you may be doing a few things that are threatening the longevity and efficiency of your system, and not even know it. The fact is, there are more than a few misconceptions about HVAC systems out there and knowing what they are may help you save both time and money in the long run.

HVAC Misconception 1: You Need to Close the Vents in Unoccupied Rooms in Your Home

The logic is understandable – if a room in your home isn’t being used, then it is a waste to keep having cooled or heated air pumped into the space. As a result, you may choose to close the vent, assuming your HVAC system will run for less time and help you save money.

Unfortunately, if you do this, it may cost you more down the road. Your heating and AC systems were sized to cool or heat a certain amount of space – the total amount of space in your home. If you close the vents, then you are closing off part of that space. This results in your air conditioner having to struggle to work properly. This can result in a number of issues, including starting up too often, short cycling and more. These things can wear down the components and lead to the system’s early failure.

Misconception 2: Turning the Temperature Down More Will Lead to a Room Cooling Faster

This is a misconception that works both ways – there are some people who turn the temperature all the way up during the winter in hopes that it will warm everything up faster. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to happen.

The HVAC equipment in your home shares a blower fan that is designed to move at a single speed – 100 percent. When it has a longer way to go to cool or heat your home to the thermostat setting, then it is just going to run longer, and waste more energy. Choose an efficient temperature for your home and stick to it, this will keep things comfortable and affordable.

Misconception 3: Your System Will Last for 20 Years – No Matter What

The truth of HVAC system longevity is that the unit will only last for about 10 to 15 years; however, there are some that will last for up to 20. This all depends on factors such as usage amounts and how well the system is taken care of. You can’t expect for your system to last a long time unless you take the time to change the filter regularly and schedule preventative maintenance.

If you have believed some of these misconceptions in the past, now is the time to make a change. You can also contact your HVAC system technician for help and more information.