Debunked! 6 Home Heating Myths

Myth #1: The higher you set your thermostat, the faster your home will heat up

Most people’s gut reaction to a freezing home is to crank the heat up really high and hope for the best. Home heating systems deliver heat at the same rate no matter what the temperature is set at. Set the thermostat at your desired temperature, not higher, and you’ll reach your preferred temperature just as quickly. If you set it higher, you’ll most likely have to adjust it once it reaches that high temperature which will waste energy.

Myth #2: Winterizing is too expensive and won’t pay off

A common myth is that you need a ton of expensive material to winterize your home. Small improvements can pay off big time when it comes to weatherizing. Even if you don’t have the funds to upgrade your windows or re-insulate your home, DIY sealing techniques during the winter months can prevent warm air from escaping and can save you hundreds in energy bills over the course of the season. Fixes as simple as caulking around drafty door frames and closing the fireplace damper will help you save.

Myth #3: Space heaters will save you money

Some people believe that having a space heater in each room will help them to save money and energy. The truth is, space heaters aren’t nearly as efficient as your furnace and oftentimes use more energy and cost more money to run. Unless you are only using a space heater in one, small room, it’s more efficient to simply use your furnace.

Myth #4: Ceiling fans are only for the summer

Obviously we all know that ceiling fans can keep you cool in the summer but what most people don’t know is that they can also help keep you warm in the winter months. Simply flip the switch found on the inside of the fan and the rotation will reverse. This will push warm air down towards you and may allow you to set the thermostat a few degrees lower.

Myth #5: There’s no benefit to adjusting the thermostat when you aren’t home

A common misconception is that keeping the house at a consistent temperature, even when you’re sleeping or away from home, is cheaper. Setting your thermostat at a lower temperature while you sleep, while you’re at work or while you’re on vacation absolutely pays off. By just adjusting a few degrees for a couple hours each day, you’ll see a decrease in your energy bill all season long. Plus, your equipment won’t have to work as hard and may last longer as a result. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that will allow you to accomplish this without even having to think about it.

Myth #6: Wood burning fireplaces will save you money

Many people believe that a wood burning fireplace will give off heat to the entire home. However, firewood can be expensive and fireplaces really aren’t designed to heat large areas. If used in conjunction with your furnace, the fireplace can actually steal heat and use up even more energy by releasing it through the chimney.

How to Fix a Broken Thermostat

When you notice something is wrong with your thermostat (either a blank screen, inaccurate readings or another malfunction), it might be broken, but more times than not it just needs a little more attention. We spend so much time and energy maintaining our HVAC systems that sometimes, we forget about one of the most important parts of the equipment – the thermostat! If your thermostat doesn’t seem to be working, try these troubleshooting tips before calling an expert.

What to check if you’re having thermostat problems

Batteries

Some wireless thermostats require batteries. If your thermostat runs on batteries, check to make sure they aren’t dead. Make sure you are using AA lithium batteries vs. regular batteries that are known to die quickly when used for wireless systems.

Power

Check to see if there is still electrical power running to the thermostat and your HVAC systems. Check your circuit breaker to ensure you don’t have a blown fuse.

Dust

Sometimes all your thermostat needs is a good cleaning. Dust and debris buildup can cause inaccurate readings and other malfunctions. Open up the thermostat and using a paint brush or another small brush, wipe away any dust or debris. Make sure not to touch anything inside the thermostat with your fingers.

Balance

Use a level to ensure the thermostat is perfectly balanced. If your thermostat uses a mercury switch and is uneven, it may be the cause of a malfunction.

Location

Surprisingly, the placement of your thermostat matters. If your thermostat is placed in direct sunlight, by a drafty door, by the kitchen or away from the center of your home, it may not function properly. See our furnace placement guide for more information.

Anticipator

If you have a mechanical thermostat, a frozen or stuck anticipator may be another culprit for a faulty thermostat. Locate the anticipator by removing the cover and finding the metal arm sitting on the circular dial. Push the arm in both directions to ensure that it’s not stuck.

If you’re able to fix the thermostat on your own, great! If not, call a trusted HVAC company to take a look and diagnose the problem.

How to Spot a Dishonest HVAC Tech

It’s safe to say that the majority of HVAC companies are reputable and trustworthy. However, just like any industry, it’s possible to fall victim to a scam when it comes to your HVAC needs. Identify a dishonest technician or a scammer from a mile away with our tips.

Spotting HVAC Scams

Unsolicited visits

If an HVAC technician shows up on your front porch unsolicited because they happen to “be in the neighborhood working on someone else’s HVAC issue,” consider it a red flag. This is not a tactic that reputable companies or technicians use. Often scammers will come to your door indicating that there is some sense of urgency to fix a problem (that may or may not exist) in order to keep you, your family and your home safe. Don’t panic. Simply ask them to leave and if you feel it’s necessary, and call your trusted HVAC company to give you a second opinion.

No web presence

If you’re ever questioning a company’s integrity, do some research. Look for things like a website, reviews and testimonials. They don’t have to have the most beautiful website or web presence but if you can’t find anything at all mentioning the company, it might not exist.

No business card

Ask technicians for a business card. Don’t be afraid to call the number listed on the card or visit the website. The business card may look professional but upon further examination, it may not be legitimate information.

Suspiciously low prices

Generally, you get what you pay for. So, if a technician is telling you that they can replace your air conditioning unit and furnace for $500, it’s probably an offer too good to be true. Or, a scammer may tell you they will perform a “tune-up” for you at a considerably low price only to uncover unnecessary repairs/damage in the process. These low prices or “offers you can’t refuse” can be an easy way for scammers to get in the door before tacking on hundreds of dollars in extras to your final bill down the road.

No license

Ensure that any HVAC technician you meet with is licensed and insured. Though it’s not a requirement, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they have any certifications. For example, being certified through North American Technician Excellence (NATE) demonstrates that the technician had to go through training and exams.

Doesn’t want you to be present for inspection/repair

A contractor should always encourage you to be present for any inspection, repair or replacement. If there’s any indication that the technician does not want you to be present, it’s a red flag.

If you’re looking for a trusted HVAC company in Canton or Akron, Ohio, contact the NATE certified technicians at Crown Group Ohio!

New HVAC Equipment: The Perfect Investment for Your Tax Return

Love it or hate it, it’s almost that time again. Tax season.

If you are getting a tax return check in the mail, you may be tempted to splurge on that new TV or the designer shoes you’ve been eyeing. However, instead of an impulse purchase, why not invest in something that will help you save even more money down the road? Whether you’re in the market for a new AC unit, a new furnace or even a zoning system or new thermostat, upgrading your HVAC equipment may not be the most glamorous use of your tax return but it could be one of the most beneficial.

Benefits to Upgrading your HVAC Equipment with your Tax Return

Efficiency

Investing in new HVAC equipment is like investing in the efficiency of your home. In fact, the right equipment can cut your energy bills in half. Each month, you will see a savings on your energy bill that, over time, will pay for your initial investment and then some. Think of it as a mini tax return every month!

Prevent future breakdowns

There’s nothing like a furnace breakdown in the middle of winter. Avoid unnecessary and unexpected repairs by upgrading your equipment. Repairs add up quickly. The cost of multiple repairs over the course of a season can easily surpass the cost of upgraded equipment.

Comfort

An uncomfortable home is not necessarily a place you always want to be. If you have an older system, it may be working too hard or not hard enough to heat and cool your home. This can result in uncomfortable indoor temperatures, uneven heating and cooling and more. When replacing your equipment, an experienced professional will guide you through the process to ensure that what you purchase will result in the highest level of comfort possible.

Home value

Most of the time, the money you put into your home will benefit you when/if it comes time to sell. Granite countertops, a new roof and updated kitchens aren’t the only thing homebuyers look for when shopping. Oftentimes, homebuyers will ask you about your HVAC equipment and if it’s old, may ask you to take money off of your asking price so they can upgrade.

Will you be spending your tax return on updated HVAC equipment this year? If you’re in the Akron or Canton, Ohio area, call Crown Group Ohio for a free quote!