While there are many random pieces of information and “helpful” tips being passed around the internet about air conditioning and keeping the home cool. As the summer temperatures continue to rise in Southern California, you may be willing to try just about anything to keep cool. But many of these tips might just be myths.
We have busted many of these popular myths for you!
Myth: The Bigger the Unit, the Better
While a bigger unit may seem to offer powerful cooling performance, a unit sized properly is the best option for long term durability and comfort. AC units are carefully sized to the amount of cubic feet they need to cool. Oversize units may create bursts of cold air, tricking thermostats or control systems into shutting off the system before the entire house reaches the desired temperature. This “cycling” may end up causing excess wear and tear on the unit, affecting your indoor comfort level, and influencing your overall energy costs. Conversely, a too-small air conditioning system will have to work harder to cool your home and wear down sooner.
Myth: Closing Vents in Empty Rooms Will Save Money on Energy Bills
A properly installed HVAC system should be sized and balanced according to the specific amount of air to be circulated in a home. However, when you close vents, you may throw off the balance of the system or change the way air is distributed resulting in temperatures that make the rest of the house uncomfortable. Leakage from excess pressure, mold, and mildew from a lack of airflow, and increased energy use are several complications that can occur. Closing registers may reduce the total air moved by the blower, which reduces its efficiency.
Myth: Fans Will Help Cool the Room
Fans cool people, not rooms. They are great for helping circulate the cool air. However, they do not actually emit cool air and are only useful if you are in the room. So if you are leaving fans on in the room when it is empty, you are just wasting energy. Turn off fans when you are not in the room to conserve energy.
Myth: Turning Your AC Off When You Leave the House Will Save Money
It may seem like a money-saving option, but turning off your HVAC system when you leave the house may create problems that lead to additional expenses. Your air conditioner plays an important role in humidity management, a key component in minimizing indoor air quality issues. Additionally, if temperatures become extreme during your absence, it may take your system a long time to restore a comfortable temperature upon your return. Instead, try raising the temperature on your thermostat by just a few degrees rather than turning your AC off entirely or constantly adjusting the settings on your system. We recommend investing in a programmable thermostat.
Myth: Dropping the Temperature Extra Low Will Cool Your Home Faster
Most AC units run at one speed which means that regardless of how low you set the temperature, it will not make the time go by any faster for your home to cool. If anything, it will only make your air conditioner run longer and waste energy.
Your air conditioning unit works just as hard whether you lower it 2 degrees or 20 degrees — getting to the temperature you want is just a matter of time. If you set it lower than you need to and forget about it, you will end up paying a higher bill. As mentioned above, try using a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat to save money and get the temperature you actually want.
Myth: An Air Conditioner’s Filter Only Needs to be Changed Once a Year
Air conditioners need to “breathe.” Dirty air filters hinder the flow of air, forcing air conditioners to work harder. Regular cleaning at least every two to three months is recommended. However, filters will need to be cleaned more frequently if your air conditioner runs for long hours, if there are pets in a house, or if there are people with allergies in the home. A clean air filter will keep an air conditioner running efficiently, and can also decrease wasted energy by up to 10 percent.
Myth: Air Conditioners Consume Too Much Energy
A modern air conditioning unit is required to display their efficiency ratings and technologies that significantly reduce energy costs. If an air conditioner consumes too much energy, there might be a need to ensure it is properly installed. Improper installation and incorrect unit size are two factors that studies have shown greatly impact efficiency and cost.
Myth: Duct Tape is Effective for Sealing Ducts
Do not let the name fool you. Duct tape is not what you should be using to seal off leaks in ductwork, as it eventually cracks, leading to a breach of the seal. It lacks in durability and does not stick to ill-prepared surfaces. Instead, use mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape to seal the leaks in your ducts.
Myth: Run Your HVAC System Until It Quits
You will often hear this myth regarding cars, but it applies to HVAC units, too. Replacing an air conditioner might be more expensive up front, but running your unit past its expiration date will be less efficient and cost you money in the long run on repairs. Start saving money on your energy bills sooner by replacing your old unit before it quits on you.
Myth: Maintenance is Only Necessary When There is a Problem
Broken units are inefficient units, so keep your HVAC unit performing at its peak. What might seem like a minor issue now could become an expensive one later if you do not repair it. Scheduling routine maintenance can save you a lot of money on repairs in the long run and will ensure that your air conditioner is running smoothly to keep your utility bills low.
Better yet, when you sign up for a maintenance agreement with us, you will get to take advantage of these great benefits:
- Improved system capacity
- Improved indoor comfort
- Improved indoor air quality
- Ensuring equipment is safe to operate
- Inspection and cleaning of your system during service visits (air filters included)
- Same day scheduling
- 10% discount on parts
- 5% discount on additional system installation
The last thing you want on a hot, sticky summer day is to flip that switch to “on” and nothing happens. When your air conditioner sits idle for at least half the year, maintenance or a tune up is a necessity.
You can always count on the Aire-Tech to keep your home cool. Perhaps you need repairs, new thermostat installation, or preventative maintenance—whatever the HVAC issue is, Aire-Tech is ready to help. If your system needs repair or inspection before summer, call us on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our Contact page and complete the contact form.