Houston Home Service Experts

Top Myths When It Comes to Home Heating and Cooling

There are many beliefs out there regarding the best ways to heat your home, but are they all correct? Of course not!

Here are the top 3 myths when it comes to home heating and cooling:

Myth 1: Closing Off Air Vents Will Save Me Money On Home Heating & Cooling Costs

Air vent

Although it seems logical that closing off registers/vents ini unused rooms will prevent conditioned air from entering the room, therefore providing your other rooms with extra warmth. Unfortunately, when vents are closed or blocked by furniture and other items, the added pressure in your air ducts creates pressure that causes and increases air leaks. Your HVAC unit does not know that you have closed vents and pumps out the same amount of air as normal. Each unit is specifically designed for the rooms and size of your house.

Besides increasing duct leakage and risks for HVAC unit problems, closing off your air vents also increases condensation and mildew growth.

This article by Energy Vanguard outlines the technical reason why closing off your air vents isn’t a good idea along with the the unintended consequences of doing so:

  • Increased duct leakage
  • Lower air flow with PSC blowers
  • Increased energy use with ECM blowers
  • Comfort problems because of low air flow
  • Frozen air conditioner coil
  • Dead compressor
  • Cracked heat exchanger, with the potential for getting carbon monoxide in your home
  • Increased infiltration/exfiltration due to unbalanced leakage, as I (Allison Bailes) described last week
  • Condensation and mold growth in winter due to lower surface temperatures in rooms with closed vents

Myth 2: Turning the Thermostat Way Down or Way Up Will Heat or Cool Your Home Faster


No matter how high or low you set your thermostat, HVAC systems do not heat or cool your home any faster. The only thing that changes when you set your thermostat is how long it is on before it turns off. Not only will this not heat or cool your home any faster, but many homeowners end up forgetting that they set the thermostat, and end up freezing or sizzling their homes.

Myth 3: Replacing Your Windows is the Best Way to Reduce Air Leaks

Man caulking windowsill

Many homeowners think that their windows are the main source behind home energy leaks, when in fact the most common culprit is attic insulation. Although leaky windows are a huge problem, there are many ways that you can insulate and block air drafts from your windows that are much cheaper than spending thousands of dollars to replace them.

Get a Home Energy Audit:

The best thing you can do to determine where you should invest in home energy efficiency upgrades is to schedule a home energy audit. A home energy auditor will go around your home with high-tech equipment to determine which areas in your home can be improved for optimum energy efficiency. There are also tax credits and rebates available to homes that are energy efficient. Universal Home Experts will work with you to get you the most money back on your high-efficiency heating and cooling system.

Here is a great infographic from energy.gov that shows you exactly what a home energy auditor does and what equipment they use to pinpoint the exact location of energy leaks.