Debunking Air Conditioning Myths

Exterior HVAC units outside an Atlanta home

Air conditioning has been around for over a century. However, myths centered around the way air conditioning systems work are still believed as facts. It is important to be able to stop believing these myths as most of them are damaging to the longevity and efficiency of your air conditioning system.

Air Conditioning Myths

1. Fans help Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency

False! Fans help to circulate air but do not actually make the air any cooler. Fans can be a great alternative to lowering the thermostat because they will help the people in the room feel more refreshed with the additional wind. However, do not add fans to an unoccupied room in hopes of cooling the room down.

2. When it comes to AC, bigger is always better

Unfortunately, a larger AC will not offer more efficiency. It is important to choose the right size air conditioner according to the needs of the space that needs to be cooled. If a unit that is too large for the space is used, the compressor will turn on and off in short cycles. These short cycles will ultimately increase the utility bill and wear out the compressor faster than necessary. On the flip side, if an air conditioning unit size is insufficient for the space, it will waste a lot of resources always trying to keep up with the cooling needs of the space.

3. Turning the thermostat to the lowest setting will cool down the space faster

This is one of the biggest myths floating around. The truth is that the cooling rate will be the same no matter the thermostat setting. The thermostat setting lets the unit know how often the air conditioner needs to run to keep the space at the right temperature, not how cold the air needs to be. The exception to this rule would be a window unit that does offer different strengths of airflow.

4. You should keep your AC unit until it no longer works at all

Buying a new unit is a large investment. However, keeping an obsolete unit also has costs associated with it. If an AC unit is not working as efficiently as it should, it will inflate the electric bill every month. Also consider that technology continues to improve on AC units, making newer units more energy-efficient than their older counterparts. In addition to the utility bills, constantly repairing a failing unit will also add up very quickly.

5. Using the air conditioning can trigger a cold

This is simply not true. Colds are caused by viruses not exposure to lower temperatures. However, if you notice that you start to sneeze every time you turn on the air conditioning, this could be related to allergies or asthma. Make sure to keep your air conditioning unit clean with regular maintenance to keep the air quality at the best levels possible.

6. Turn off the AC when you’re not home to save money

At the end of the day, efficiency saves money. Turning the AC off completely will only cause it to run full-time when you make it back home to cool the space down to your liking. Instead, adjust the thermostat temperature a few degrees while you are out of the house, this way the AC unit turns on less while you are out but does not have to cool down the space from scratch upon your return. The most efficient AC temperature is usually around 7-10 degrees higher than your ideal temperature. Another tip that can help with this is a programmable thermostat that allows for temperature adjustments at programmed times.

7. You can install a thermostat anywhere in the home

The thermostat is the brain behind the HVAC unit, it tells it when it needs to turn on and off by assessing the temperature. If the thermostat is in an area where it cannot accurately read the temperature, the AC unit will not hold the ideal cycle times for the air conditioner and it will waste energy trying to cool the space too much or fail to provide the desired temperature.

8. To save money, only replace air filters once a year

This is a gross myth that can impact the health of your family and your wallet. Air filters catch dust, mold, dirt, and other small particles. When the filter becomes saturated, it is unable to provide the right airflow and will therefore make the AC unit work harder. Ultimately, the AC unit will circulate dirty air at a higher cost to you.

Improving the longevity and efficiency of your AC Unit

Now, let’s talk about what does keep your air conditioning running longer. It all comes down to proper AC maintenance and the correct installation. Click here to learn more about AC installation in Atlanta.

Learn different more about the proper techniques to Improve Your Air Conditioner Efficiency.