8 Air Conditioner Myths That Could Be Losing You Money
Even if you enjoy West Palm Beach’s steamy climate, there’s just nothing like a cold, high-performing air conditioner on a hot summer day. When the temperatures start to rise this summer, many homeowners will be searching for ways to lower their energy bills. But before you make any changes around the home, let’s dismantle a few air conditioning myths that are costing you time and money ― and uncover the truth so that you can save energy and money.
Myth #1: Turning Off Your AC When You Leave Home Will Save You Money
With over 45 years of experience in the HVAC industry, we’ve discovered that far too many Floridians turn off their air conditioners daily when they leave the house. It may seem like you are saving money, but turning off your HVAC system when you leave the house may create more problems that lead to additional expenses. When you return home, the cooling process works harder to restore your house to a comfortable temperature ― even if you’re only gone for a few hours. Because your AC unit serves an important role in humidity management, it is a key component in minimizing indoor air quality issues. If it rains while you’re gone, for example, the humidity that forms can attract mold and pests into your home.
Turning off your AC unit when you leave home for an extended period (or the whole summer) can also be counterproductive. While you’ll save money, airflow becomes stagnant, and your home’s temperature will get extremely hot when your system isn’t circulating.
If you want to save money when you’re gone, we suggest that you set the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher and avoid temperatures lower than 78 degrees ― instead of just turning it off.
Myth #2: Turn Your Thermostat Low to Quickly Cool Your Home
Temperature settings on your thermostat or control system do not correlate with the speed of cooling. Your thermostat does not work like a volume knob that you can turn up to 20 to cool your home, because HVAC systems cannot vary their cooling energy output. Therefore, setting your control system lower to quickly cool your home will waste energy and cost you more.
The speed at which your air conditioner cools your home depends on the weather, the amount of cool air your home has stored, how well air-sealed and insulated your home is, and the age and efficiency of your HVAC system. Rapidly lowering the thermostat will force your system to cycle on and off more than it needs to, creating unnecessary strain and higher energy costs.
Myth #3: Your Air Conditioner Will Give You a Cold
This is simply not true. Exposure to germs, bacteria, and viruses causes colds, not cool temperatures! Air conditioners recycle those germs throughout your home each time they are turned on. AC maintenance and tune-ups can help you keep your system working efficiently and effectively, sending stale air (and its germs) out and keeping clean, fresh air in. Annual service on your unit can not only reduce the allergens in your home but also extend the life of your system.
Myth #4: The Bigger the AC Unit, The Better
“Bigger is better” is one of the most widespread home cooling myths. AC units are carefully sized to the number of cubic feet they need to cool. An air conditioner that is too small for your home will always be overworked, so it’ll wear out faster, and it’ll never quite meet the demands of the thermostat. If the AC unit is designed for a larger space than you have, it will constantly turn on and off, wearing itself out and growing undependable over time.
Be mindful of a unit’s capacity and choose the right one for the space you have. Before you install a new air conditioner, seek the guidance of a certified professional who knows how to adequately size your AC for your home.
Myth #5: Let Your Air Conditioner Run Until It Quits
Although the initial cost of replacing your AC unit can be high, keeping your old air conditioner even when it’s past its prime can cost you more in the long run. An old air conditioner will perform poorly and drive up energy costs, and it’s more prone to expensive and time-consuming malfunctions.
If your AC unit is 10 years old or older, it may be time to invest in a newer, more efficient version that will save you money and aggravation.
Myth #6: Closing HVAC Vents to Certain Rooms Will Improve Home Cooling and Save Energy
When you close vents to unused rooms or certain rooms on different levels in your home, you could throw off the balance of your system or affect the way air is circulated, resulting in uncomfortable temperatures throughout the rest of the house. This imbalance can subsequently damage the HVAC system or create cracks in the ducts that may reduce the cooled space. Additionally, the more vents you close, the more air backs up into the ductwork, causes back pressure to build, and creates reduced efficiency in your home’s HVAC system.
Before closing vents, discuss your concerns with a trusted, licensed HVAC dealer who will be able to help you decide whether certain vents can be closed to reduce the amount of space in your home that is being cooled.
Myth #7: Ceiling Fans Will Keep a Room Cool
If you’re considering installing ceiling fans in your West Palm Beach house, make sure you understand the home cooling myths associated with fans. First and foremost, a ceiling fan is designed to recirculate the air already in the room. Fans aid in the evaporation process and make us feel cool, but they do not actually cool rooms. In other words, fans won’t increase your air conditioning system’s power, capacity, or efficiency, cannot produce cold air, or affect the overall temperature in a room, regardless of the size or number of fans. But the breeze they produce sure does feel good! That added air movement may encourage you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature ― which in turn will decrease your energy usage.
Myth #8: AC Units Don’t Need Maintenance
So far from the truth! Whether your AC system is six months or 10 years old, professional HVAC maintenance is important. Routine inspections are one of the wisest choices you can make to preserve your HVAC unit. They’ll help you discover small issues before they turn into big ones, and they’ll help you prepare for hot weather by making sure every part of your unit is tuned, lubricated, tightened, and cleaned. The best time to schedule an inspection or tune-up is in the spring ― even if you just purchased a replacement in the fall. Since a new cooling system is a big investment, keeping it running like new is ideal.
Before the stifling heat arrives in Florida, make sure your air conditioner is ready to get to work!
Quality HVAC Service from Hopkins Air Conditioning
Home cooling myths can be extremely counterproductive. Having a better understanding of how to properly take care of your air conditioning system will help you avoid the unexpected. That’s why we at Hopkins Air Conditioning hire certified technicians who care and do our best to educate West Palm Beach residents and the surrounding community.
Call us today at 561-656-4870 to purchase a replacement unit or schedule routine maintenance or repair for your existing AC system.