It’s estimated that 91% of all homes in the United States are equipped with some type of air conditioning unit. Air conditioners are vital to keeping homes cold and comfortable during warmer months. But, as common as they are, air conditioner myths are equally as common.
Believing air conditioner myths can lead homeowners to make costly mistakes that impact the efficiency of their system and cause them to spend more on their energy bill than they need to. So, what are some common myths about air conditioners, and how can knowing the truth about them save you money?
Dilling, your AC repair man in Gastonia, NC, can help answer those questions and debunk these air conditioner myths.
Myth #1: Air Conditioners Only Need to Be Serviced When They Break Down
Scheduling regular appointments to have your air conditioning unit inspected and maintained can keep your system running efficiently and allow technicians to spot and repair any issues that might lead to significant breakdowns. Maintenance technicians check several of your air conditioners components to ensure they are clean and working correctly to cool your home, including:
- Electrical connections
- Air filters
- Refrigerant levels
- Evaporator and condenser coils
- Blower components
Myth #2: Bigger Air Conditioners Are Always Better
Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to air conditioners. Having a unit designed to cool a building larger than your home might initially sound like a smart idea. But having an air conditioner that is too large can increase your energy costs. Additionally, since larger air conditioning units are usually more expensive than smaller ones, you might pay far more for them than necessary.
Several factors go into deciding what size air conditioner is ideal for a home. Some of those factors include the square footage of the house, what portions of the home receive direct sunlight, whether the rooms have lots of windows, how the home is insulated, and more.
The capacity of an air conditioner is measured in tons or British Thermal Units (BTUs). A 1-ton air conditioner equals 12,000 BTUs. An air conditioner of that size can usually cool a space that is approximately 550 sq. ft. Generally, a 2-ton or 24,000 BTU air conditioner can cool an area that is about 1,500 sq. ft. If that’s enough to meet your needs, then there’s no reason to pay more for a 3- or 4-ton AC unit.
Myth #3: Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Will Save Energy
Another common myth about your air conditioner is that closing vents in unused rooms will increase efficiency. However, closing vents can actually reduce an air conditioner’s efficiency. When vents are closed, the air pressure inside the ducts increases, making moving air through the open vents harder for the air conditioner. This can make your unit less energy efficient and shorten the lifespan of the AC unit.
Myth #4: Dropping the Thermostat Temperature Will Cool Rooms Quicker
Significantly turning down your thermostat setting will not make your air conditioner cool down a room faster. Air conditioners work at a consistent pace until they reach the temperature setting on your thermostat. Dropping your temperature setting too quickly will only cause your air conditioner to work longer. It’s best to lower the thermostat gradually, in increments of 2 to 3 degrees, until the room reaches the desired temperature.
Myth #5: Air Conditioners Create Cool Air
One widespread air conditioner myth is that air conditioners create cool air. However, you may be surprised to discover that they actually pull the heat out of the air. When warm air from your home is drawn into an air conditioner, it passes over the evaporator coils, which contain a refrigerant that absorbs heat from the air. By removing the heat, the resulting air is dry, cool, and pumped back into your home.
Myth #6: It’s More Cost-Effective to Leave the AC on All Day
This air conditioner myth is based on the assumption that it’s easier on your air conditioner and requires less energy consumption to maintain a temperature all day than reaching a colder setting after it has been turned off for a while when you leave the house. This isn’t true. Your air conditioner will cycle on and off throughout the day to maintain a consistent temperature when left on, and this will use far more energy in the long run — not to mention subject the unit to increased wear and tear. This common myth about air conditioners can be very costly.
Turning the AC unit off or setting your thermostat higher when you’re not home can help you save energy and money. However, to ensure your home is cool when you arrive, you can consider installing a programmable thermostat that adjusts your heating and cooling to your schedule.
Myth #7: You Only Need to Replace Your Air Conditioner After the Old One Dies
Maintenance technicians can warn you when your air conditioner is beginning to show signs of significant wear and tear. Rather than waiting for it to break, acting on these suggestions and proactively replacing your air conditioner is better. Doing so will allow you to schedule a replacement at a convenient time, rather than trying to replace it as a last-minute emergency in the middle of the summer, when demand is higher and you have to wait longer for an appointment with a broken air conditioner.
In addition, planning ahead allows you to research different models, budget for the repair, get answers to any questions you might have about the replacement and do so as stress-free as possible.
Contact Dilling for Air Conditioning Maintenance and Repair
Don’t let common myths about your air conditioner hurt your HVAC system or your wallet. Dilling can guide you on the best way to operate and maintain your heating and cooling systems to ensure they’re running efficiently and effectively for as long as possible. When you run into trouble with your heating or cooling system, we’re here to help! For fast, quality service or the best HVAC financing, contact us today.