HVAC In March
Our New Jersey weather is finally starting to hint at spring’s arrival. It’s time to give your HVAC system a break and let your house breathe with March’s ups and downs.
As Spring approaches in Central New Jersey, we’re likely to see some really cold days still ahead mixed with those occasional warm afternoons that tease us all.
Here at Temp Control we want you to think about a few things as we navigate the ups and downs of March weather as you’re tempted to open windows or doors.
Opening windows and doors is great for a number of reasons. Chiefly opening up the windows means you’re going to turn off the HVAC and give your energy bill a little relief, but you’re also welcoming in some health benefits.
First, it lets your house breathe a bit after being shut for most of the winter. Most home HVAC systems do not pull in the fresh air. Hence, air is constantly being recirculated. Sure the filter is trapping dust and other particulates. But depending on the type of filter you DO have, there are likely any variety of indoor air pollutants floating about.
Indoor pollution might include the gasses from furniture, paint, and flooring. Also, any dust, dander or any number of other pollutants that haven’t been trapped by your filtration can be pulled out of a home by opening windows.
Just be sure to open a door or window on each side of the house to create a cross breeze.
Second, letting your house breathe also helps remove odors that have likewise built up over the winter shelter – especially if there are smokers in your home or if you have pets.
Remember, you become inured to those smells but others coming in can detect those odors. And if you’ve done a good job of sealing your home, those odors from laundry, shoes, animals, trash cans, etc. have nowhere to go. Invite the outside air in to occasionally give your house a fresh-air reboot.
Third, there’s some research that suggests fresh air boosts brainpower. A University of Tulsa study found there’s a connection between maintaining adequate ventilation and thermal comfort in classrooms that have a direct effect on learning and performance. A key finding concluded that “Adequate ventilation involves a prescribed amount of outdoor air being introduced into the classroom, with the intent to dilute and replenish stale air in the room with incoming fresh (outdoor) air.”
Now, with all that said, here are some considerations.
When you DO decide to open your house up for some fresh air, turn off your HVAC system at the thermostat. You do not want your system cycling on and off or fighting any sudden temperature changes that the breeze might bring.
This could make your system work harder than it has to and therefore increase your energy bills and add a little wear and tear to the system.
Also, opening up the house means you could potentially be adding humidity and dust to your home depending on what’s going on outside.
Be aware of the conditions outdoors. If it’s very windy and if you live where there’s construction or a lot of dust, you may not want to risk adding particulate matter to the house. If it’s extremely humid, you could be adding that humidity to your house. Now, for some, the humidity makes it a bit easier to breathe and it also helps furniture (or expensive pianos) from drying out.
But humidity inside a home makes the A/C work harder because part of an HVAC’s function is to remove humidity in order to remove heat from the air.
So, these are all things to think about as you open up your home. But remember, your HVAC has been working hard all winter. Giving it a break and letting your house breathe is good change of pace. But it’s also a reminder that spring is around the corner and contacting Temp Control for an inspection or system check is also something to schedule before you fully commit to switching that thermostat to “COOL.” Talk to us about a maintenance agreement and get on a regular schedule as the seasons change.
We proudly provide heating and cooling services in Middlesex, Monmouth, Union and Somerset counties. Whether you are in Westfield, Woodbridge or Freehold, NJ, we can keep your home comfortable all year round.