Not too sure what’s the truth about your air conditioning unit or what’s a longstanding myth? It’s tricky to know whether you’ve been misusing your unit until you book an AC tune-up and receive an unexpected bill. So, we’re here to bust through the myths and tell you the truth about how to use your air conditioning system correctly and when you need AC maintenance.
Myth: For More Power, You Need to Install a Larger System
When it comes to HVAC systems, the first thing people think about is how much cooling power their AC unit has. However, what’s important is not how many tons of cooling power your AC unit has, but what size your house is. You’ll want to find the correct HVAC system for your home, and sometimes bigger is not always better.
Homes with an HVAC system that’s too big can deal with a number of problems, short cycling being one of them. Short cycling is when your AC turns on and off in short bursts rather than running continuously. It happens when an AC unit is too powerful for the space it’s cooing. This constant cycle of on and off puts unnecessary stress on your system and could lead to costly repairs.
Myth: There Is No Set Place for A Thermostat
When looking for a spot to place your air conditioner thermostat, the main point to keep in mind is that it should not be in direct sunlight. It will make the thermostat perceive the temperature as warmer than it is. As a result, your air conditioner will kick on more often, working harder to keep your home cool – costing you money on your utility bills and possibly wearing out your AC system.
Another thing to think about when choosing where to place a thermostat is airflow. It should be somewhere where there is good airflow to gauge the temperature changes throughout the room accurately. For example, if there are drafts or cold spots near the thermostat, this could make it seem like the room air temperature has suddenly changed.
Think carefully about where to place your thermostat. If unsure, ask an HVAC professional.
Myth: The Furnace Is for Winter Only
One of the most common myths circulating among homeowners is that heating and cooling systems are entirely separate—that they don’t interact and thus don’t affect each other.
The furnace is an essential part of the cooling process. When the air conditioning system kicks on, the furnace and its blower are used to distribute cool air throughout your home.
A dirty furnace filter can reduce the efficiency of the equipment, making it work harder and shortening its lifespan. Unfortunately, this can also cause your air conditioner to work harder than it needs to, shortening its life. Scheduling a regular AC tune-up will keep your unit in perfect working condition.
Myth: You Can Cool Your House More Quickly by Setting the Thermostat Lower
One of the longest-lasting air conditioning myths states that you can cool your home quickly by dropping your thermostat temperature super low. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t work. Your air conditioner will still cool your home at the same rate, no matter what temperature you set it to.
Setting your thermostat super low may seem like a good idea when you first walk in from a hot day, but it will cost you later in energy bills and wear and tear on your system. Instead, you’ll get better results by setting your thermostat slightly higher, keeping it there all day, and opening up windows for fresh air if necessary.
Myth: You’ll Save More Money by Closing Specific Vents
If you’ve ever closed the vents in your home to block the flow of cool air into a room that doesn’t need it, you might have wondered if this would help you reduce air conditioning costs.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Your HVAC system is like a whole ecosystem that depends on a delicate balance and even distribution of airflow. Your HVAC is designed on the size and layout of your home, based on the requirements for adequately heating or cooling each room.
Closing vents in unused rooms can throw off this balance and cause pressure to build up in other areas of your HVAC system. The system pushes the same amount of air into a smaller space—meaning there’s more pressure on your ductwork, which can cause it to leak.
Myth: An AC Tune-Up Isn’t Needed If Your Air Conditioning System Isn’t Broken
Regular AC maintenance for your air conditioner is just as essential as scheduled oil changes for your car. Like your car engine, your AC has a lot of moving parts. A once-a-year checkup from an HVAC professional will prevent your system from breaking down and save you money on your energy bills.