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6 Beliefs About Air Conditioners | Is It True Or An A/C Myth?

I’m sure many of you heard “keep the door shut, we’re not cooling the whole neighborhood!” while growing up.  When it comes to running your air conditioner all summer, there are some truths that are widely accepted, such as you should keep your windows and doors shut while your air conditioner is trying to do its job.  Some things people tell you may sound logical, but it could be an A/C myth and costing you money in the form of electric bills and system repairs. Below are 6 widely believed air conditioner myths, and why you shouldn’t put any stock in them.  


A/C Myth 1. In the long run, it costs more to turn the temperature up on your thermostat when you’re not home.


While the idea of your air conditioner having to work extra when you get home instead of keeping the temperature consistent throughout the day may sound costly. In actuality, having your system keep a constant (lower) temperature is much more taxing on your system than working at full capacity to get your temperature back down to where you prefer.  


A/C Myth 2. Alternatively, turning off your air conditioner entirely when leaving your home saves you money.


If it is cheaper to raise the temperature on your thermostat when you leave home, it must be cheaper to turn the air conditioner off altogether, right?  Wrong.  In the best interests of your electric bill and the overall health of your HVAC system, raise the temperature 7-10 degrees before leaving.  You don’t have to worry about having to wait hours before your home is back to your preferred temperature after you return and you won’t have to pay an arm and leg for your electric bill/repairs to your system. The best solution to save yourself from having to adjust the thermostat whenever you leave and return home is a smart thermostat.  With a smart thermostat, you can adjust the temperature from anywhere using your smartphone.  This means that you can raise the temperature when you aren’t home, but also have your home cool and comfortable for when you get home.  It’s the best of both worlds: you get the utmost control over your home’s temperature and you’ll be saving money on your electric bill.  


A/C Myth 3. Using ceiling fans in every room will keep your home cool.

One thing that needs to be understood about fans is that they help you to feel cooler due to a wind chill effect, but they do not lower the temperature of your home or extract humidity like an air conditioner will.  That last part is key, especially in Texas where the humidity will make you feel miserable, even in moderate temperatures.  Ceiling fans help to circulate air but if the air temperature is still quite warm, you won’t be entirely comfortable. Fans can be effective if working in conjunction with your air conditioner, but there is no need to keep them running in rooms that are empty, if anything they will just needlessly raise your electricity bill.


A/C Myth 4. You don’t need to have your air conditioner serviced until it is no longer working properly.


If you wait until your air conditioner is on the fritz before having it serviced, you are setting yourself up for a disaster if it happens to be during a heat wave in mid-July. The importance of routine maintenance cannot be overstated, it will keep your system running more efficiently and for longer. A small problem can turn into a large one quickly, and the amount that you will have to pay for repairs only goes up the longer you wait.  You can find more information on the importance of routine maintenance here.  Please, for the health of your HVAC system and your pocketbook, don’t skip out on having your system serviced regularly.   


A/C Myth 5. You should change your air filter once a year/quarter/month.


While changing your air filter regularly is essential, there are far too many factors to use such a general timetable.  It depends on your system, the filters you use, the time of year paired with your sensitivity to seasonal allergens, and even your pets.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you only need to change your filter every few months, or every week.  Unless they have your EXACT system and use your EXACT filters, they do not know what is best for you and your system. If you have any questions about your system/filters, please do not hesitate to give us a call.


A/C Myth 6. If you want to cool your home down as quickly as possible, you should turn your thermostat down as low as possible.


While logic may tell you that if your home is at 81 degrees and you want to lower the temperature to 77, setting your thermostat to 72 will get the job done faster.  Your air conditioner works at a constant speed, so you would only be paying more for the temperature to be lowered (at the same rate as if you set the thermostat to your desired temperature) beyond what you want. Moral of the story: set your thermostat to your desired temperature and let the system work.


Knowing how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the way you treat your air conditioner is key to efficiently keep your home cool. Remember, the truth will set you free… from high electric bills and HVAC repair costs. If you have any questions about anything to do with your HVAC system, please let us know. We’re happy to help!

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