How much do you really know about how to use your air conditioner? Most homeowners think they’re well-versed on AC operation, but there are many common HVAC myths which can sometimes fool even those “in the know.” These aren’t just harmless myths, either. Left unchecked in your life, they could cost you money both in the short and the long term. Understanding how your system works, and what you need to do to keep it in good working order, is essential for prolonging its life and saving money in the process.
The Lower Your Thermostat Setting, the Faster Your Home Cools
When you get home from time out in the sun on a hot summer’s day, walking into a warm space is the last thing you want. You head to the thermostat and, because you want to cool off quickly, you dial the temperature down far below your normal setting. That should chill things out in no time, right?
Unfortunately, no. Though many believe that a lower thermostat setting means faster cooling, the reality is different: the laws of physics put a hard limit on what’s possible with the air conditioning unit your home uses. Making your unit work harder for longer is the only thing this does. A smart or programmable thermostat is a better option.
Changing Your Air Filters is Overrated and Unnecessary
Do you really need to spend the money to replace the filter for your AC unit as often as every month? It might seem like just another trick designed to get you to keep spending money on products repeatedly. Whatever you’ve heard about how you don’t need to change your AC filter frequently, it likely isn’t true. These filters perform a vital function, keeping your air cleaner and your equipment relatively dust-free — but more importantly, it’s hard for air to flow through a dirty filter. When you change your filter regularly, you prevent unnecessary energy consumption.
The Best Time for a Replacement is When Your Old Unit Fails
When is the best time to replace your air conditioning unit? Due to the relative size of the investment required, many people believe you should always wait until your current installation ceases functioning. This, too, is a myth. While you shouldn’t replace your unit too early or on a schedule, there comes a point at which you’ll experience diminishing returns. The equipment becomes old and cannot work as efficiently even with maintenance. Replacing your unit with a more modern installation before failure is a more cost-effective option.
You Only Need Maintenance When Something Goes Wrong
As long as cold air blows out from your vents, everything is okay, right? Why should you need to call an HVAC contractor when nothing is wrong? To many homeowners, it can seem like throwing money away. However, just because you don’t feel or hear anything wrong with your unit doesn’t mean it doesn’t need service. Here are the facts: just like your car, a checkup every now and then is important for identifying parts that might wear out soon and servicing systems that need attention. Save money and avoid a broken AC by investing in annual service.
It’s Better to Leave Your Thermostat On One Setting All Day
It makes sense to want to keep your utility bills down, but there are a whole host of HVAC myths that can actually cause you to use more electricity. This is one of them. If you want your home to be a cool 68 degrees when you come home from work, why not just leave it there all day? The thinking goes that it will be more cost-effective to maintain temperature than to turn the thermostat up during the day. However, your unit will use more energy throughout the day than it will cool your home again after the temperature outdoors drops.
Bigger Units Are Always Better
The best way to enjoy a comfortable indoor atmosphere is to buy the most powerful air conditioner possible, right? Wrong. Improper sizing for your air conditioner can cause a whole range of problems on its own, including driving up your energy consumption. Always invest in professional insight to size your next unit properly.
Dispel These HVAC Myths and More with Professional Insight
Though they look simple from the outside, air conditioning units (and furnaces, too) are complex beasts with many systems that all require proper care and maintenance. By avoiding a belief in the HVAC myths outlined above, you can develop better habits regarding HVAC maintenance — potentially saving you time, frustration, and money over the life of your unit. A key ally in achieving that goal is a proven AC service provider. Look for a local team with lots of experience, a focus on good customer service, and prompt response times so that when something does go wrong, you know who to call.