Four Myths Every New HVAC Tech Should Be Prepared To Bust

The heating and air conditioning field is one that's saturated with misconceptions and misunderstandings. If you're new to working in HVAC service, you may be surprised the first time you hear some of these myths from customers. The best way to combat the false information is to familiarize yourself with the most common misconceptions. The more you know about the false information that's out there, the better prepared you'll be to field the inevitable questions from customers.

Myth: You Shouldn't Change the Thermostat When You Aren't Home

What You Should Tell Your Customer: Leaving your central air thermostat at a consistent temperature even when you aren't home just forces the compressor to cycle on and off repeatedly throughout the day. Not only is this excessive wear and tear on the compressor, but it can also cost you more than you'd think. The bulk of the energy consumption of your air conditioning comes when the compressor is turning on or off, so the more the system cycles, the more expensive it becomes for you. Raise the thermostat several degrees when you aren't home to reduce how often the compressor runs to cool an empty house.

If your customer complains that they don't like coming home to a warm house, recommend installing a programmable thermostat. This allows the customer to program a cooler temperature effective just before they return home from work. This way, the system will cool the house to their preferred temperature before they arrive home.  

Myth: Lower the Thermostat a Little More to Cool Things Down Quicker

What You Should Tell Your Customer: Air conditioning systems produce cool air at the same output rate no matter what temperature the thermostat is set to. Reducing the temperature on the thermostat will not increase the production of cool air. Instead, you'll only succeed in making the compressor run longer than it needs to run. The only setting that might affect the amount of cool air your compressor puts out is a fan speed control. In that case, put the fan speed on its highest setting to move as much air as possible.

Myth: Close the Vents to the Rooms You Aren't Using to Save Money

What You Should Tell Your Customer: Closing the air vents in the rooms you aren't using won't concentrate the cool air into the occupied spaces. Instead, what it will do is cause undue strain on your cooling system as a whole. The closed vents can cause excess pressure in the air ducts and the air handler. If the customer is adamant that they want to be able to regulate temperatures in each room, consider recommending zoned cooling instead.

Myth: It Doesn't Matter Where the Thermostat is Installed

What You Should Tell Your Customer: Since most customers don't have a thorough understanding of how the air conditioning systems work, it's up to you to explain why the location of the thermostat is an important consideration during installation. Explain to your customer that installing the thermostat somewhere near a heat-producing appliance or in a direct beam of sunlight may interfere with the temperature readings and the system function. After all, if the thermostat isn't getting an accurate reading, it won't be able to regulate the temperature in the house properly.

These are four of the most common misconceptions that you're likely to hear as you work on residential air conditioning systems. Now that you know what they are, you're in a better position to educate your customers about the real truths that they need to know. With the information presented here and your expertise as an HVAC technician, you can help to bust some of these myths and help your customer find the right system and settings for their home.