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Old Wives Tales II

This week is a continuation of some of the common misconceptions I hear about our heating and air conditioning systems. Hopefully these are helpful to you.

My air conditioning or furnace is not working, I must need a new thermostat. Save your money. 99% of the time, your heating or cooling system has an issue, not your thermostat.

The higher you set your thermostat, the faster your house will heat up. Most furnaces deliver the same amount of heat regardless of how high the thermostat is set.

I periodically need to fill up my air conditioner with refrigerant. False. Refrigerant or freon does not wear out. Even if your air conditioning is very old it will run indefinitely without adding freon. If it needs refrigerant it is because it has a leak. If you have to add refrigerant every year, have the leak located and repaired.

It’s too expensive to find the leak in my air conditioner. False. We have detectors that can find any leak in less than one hour.

To humidify my home in the winter I put pots of water near the registers. While this method does something, it’s a far cry from a whole home humidifier system. The water in that pot will take up to a week to evaporate while a humidifier will do the same work in about an hour.

I should reverse my ceiling fan direction between the heating and cooling seasons. This actually makes no difference. A ceiling fan helps to circulate and mix the room air between floor and ceiling which is good. Direction though means nothing, although you might feel cooler in the summer if the fan blows down because in this direction you can feel the fan blowing on you.

Once I have a high efficiency air cleaner I will not need to dust my home. High end air cleaners can only stop the dust that gets back to them. Some dust will settle out before it gets back to the filter system so you will still have to dust but probably not as often.