Spring is in full force in the Metro East. This means steadily rising daily temperatures often accompanied by cooler evening ones. It’s during this time of year many homeowners opt to open the windows to allow fresh air to ventilate their homes. However, as tempting as it may be, it’s best to consider how open windows affect your HVAC system.

While there’s no doubt allowing fresh air into your home can be beneficial, if not done correctly, it can also wreak havoc on your home’s heating and cooling.

Avoid Opening Windows if Your HVAC System is Running

Reason #1 – Your System Works Harder to Compensate for Lost Air

When installing a new HVAC system in your home, the contractor will provide you with the system’s load calculation. This calculation is based on several areas of your home. These include square footage, windows, doors, insulation and ductwork. The calculation helps the contractor determine the best size, application and style of your system. In doing so, it ensures its efficiency and therefore maximizes your home’s comfort.

Open windows affect your home’s HVAC system by increasing the load on the system. The increased load results in the unit working harder to maintain a specific temperature and compensate for the lost air. Over time, this can cause the unit to overheat as well as add unnecessary wear and tear.

Reason #2 – Inefficient Systems Lead to Wasted Energy

Continuing to run your system while losing air also your unit’s efficiency. Energy-efficient appliances are a great way to reduce energy bills and save money. At Viviano, we carry many Energy Star qualified HVAC systems that benefit our customers as well as the environment.

If you decide to let fresh air into your home, turn off your system to avoid wasted energy. However, be wary of how long you keep your system off. The longer your HVAC unit is shut down, the more time it has to collect dust and suffer potential damage.

Open Windows Can Also Affect Your Homes Air Quality

Even if homeowners shut off their systems, there are other potential effects to the air in the home. Depending on your home’s location, the air quality outdoors may be lower than the air inside. This is especially true for those who live near busy streets, freeways, active construction sites or manufacturing facilities. Open windows allow pollen, dust particles and other allergens to enter your home. These contaminants clog your system’s air filter. If not changed frequently, your system will work harder to cool your home, resulting in potential overheating and malfunction.

Outdoor Humidity Can Damage Your Home and HVAC System

Opening a window – whether it be to let in cool night air, or a midday breeze – also allows the outdoor humidity to make its way indoors. Aside from making the air feel “balmy” or “sticky,” excess humidity can increase the risk for mold and mildew. Both can then be cycled throughout your home once you decide to turn your system back on.

Keep Your Home Comfortable No Matter the Season

Opening the windows in your home may offer short-term savings on your home’s heating and cooling costs. However, the possible long-term damage can be more costly. To keep your HVAC system running at its best, homeowners should practice smart energy habits. In addition, they should also keep up with their system’s regular maintenance.

At Viviano Heating & Cooling, we recommend our customers prioritize their system’s maintenance. We even customize annual maintenance programs. If you want to experience the best home comfort for you and your family all year round, give us a call. 618.345.7498.