5 Myths About Air Conditioners That Are Costing You Money

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    When summer temperatures start to rise, most households turn to their trusty air conditioner to keep their families cooled down. Despite a heavy reliance on home air conditioners, there are still many that subscribe to air conditioning myths.  

    In this article, we’ll discuss 5 myths about air conditioners that are costing you money. Also, you can check out this article on Phoenix AZ air quality to get an idea of what your air conditioner needs to be able to do to keep your indoor environment in good condition. 

    Myth #1: Biggest is Best

    You would think that a bigger air conditioner would keep you cooler but that isn’t always the case. A bigger air conditioner is going to be more powerful and perhaps more efficient when installed in a proper space, but when you put an AC that is too large in a small room, it may short cycle. 

    Short cycling occurs when an air conditioner cools a room down so quickly that it hasn’t had the time to dehumidify it. Because of the excess humidity left in the room, the air conditioner must then work even harder to dehumidify the room. This causes it to work harder, thus using more energy and creating more wear and tear on the unit. As for your room, it will feel a lot cooler than it should due to the moisture retained in the air.

    Before installing your air conditioning unit, consider your room size, amount of insulation, location in your home, orientation to the sun coming in through windows, and any other factors that may affect its performance. This will save you money not only on the air conditioner itself but also on energy costs in the long run.

    Myth #2: Running Your AC Uninterrupted Is Cheaper

    This myth originates from the idea that it takes additional energy to turn your air conditioner on and off than it does just to leave it running all the time. This is incorrect. You will always save more money by having your air conditioner turned off.

    What you should be focusing on is keeping your home well insulated and air leaks sealed to retain the cool air provided by your air conditioning unit. You should keep all windows, blinds, and curtains closed when you are not at home and during the hottest portion of the day to keep the sun beaming in from heating up your home. 

    Your ceiling fan can also help keep your home cooler. Ceiling fans can move air that is warm upward, diminishing any windchill effects. By doing so, a room will feel cooler and allow you to set your thermostat at a higher temperature, saving you money.

    If you want to save even more money, you might choose an air conditioner with a programmable thermostat so that you can set your air conditioner to a higher temperature while you are away and adjust it to a lower temperature shortly before you plan to arrive home.

    Myth #3: Air Conditioners Cause Illness

    Air Conditioners do not make people sick, but they can aid in the process if you don’t take proper care of them. If your system is allowed to accumulate a buildup of dirt, dust, or grime, these contaminants will filter out into your home and affect your health. You may also have a buildup of mold, mildew, or other bacteria that can be sucked into your HVAC system and be circulated throughout your home.

    Luckily, a bit of housekeeping can keep this from happening. Take care to clean your home of any of these contaminants before they make their way into your system. In addition to cleaning up the source, you’ll want to keep the filters in your system clean. Replace your HVAC filter at least every three months. You may want to replace it monthly during periods of heavy use.

    You will also want to have yearly maintenance performed on your HVAC system by a qualified technician to remove any buildups that many collect there during the year. Proper maintenance will save you money on future repairs and minimize energy usage. It will also keep you from needing expensive medical care.

    Myth 4: Dropping the Temperature Cools Things Down Faster

    People who have had to shut their system down for work or perhaps during a power outage, know that there is nothing worse than having to wait for things to cool back down. Many will move the temperature setting on their thermostat to a much lower setting to cool their home back down quickly. This does not work.

    Setting the thermostat to a lower temperature than you require will not cool your home down faster. No matter what temperature you select on your thermostat, it will cool at the same rate as it always does. What will happen instead is that it will continue to cool well past the temperature you desire unless you intervene, costing you money and likely making you uncomfortable in a freezing home. A better bet is to shed a few layers and pour yourself a cold drink while you wait for the temperature to drop.

    Myth #5: All Air Conditioners Cost the Same to Operate

    Many people believe that no matter what air conditioning system they choose, it will cost the same as any other unit of equal size and power. This is far from the truth. Various brands have different SEER ratings because they are created using assorted types of technology. There is often no comparison that can even truly be given when you are assessing whether a mini-split system that cools one area compares to a whole-house HVAC system. Then, there are comparisons between a system that only cools versus one that heats and cools.

    Aside from these issues, even two different brands of the same size and similar capabilities will vary in usage costs depending on how they are installed, the particulars of your home, and how you use them. Even in a case where you purchase the same unit you had in a previous home, you may find that changes in technology have improved the energy efficiency, saving you money, or that your home has other issues like poor insulation or air leaks which affect how much it costs to run the unit. 

    Endnote

     

    There are several myths around air conditioner performance that may end up in homeowners paying extra on their bills, but being aware of these common misunderstandings will go a long way towards helping you save money. Most of all, remember that when choosing a unit, you should look for the most energy-efficient model that suits your home and budget to keep your costs to a minimum.

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