As the dog days of Summer draw near, and the outside air begins to swelter, we all think about two things: Staying cool and saving cash! It’s important to stay comfortable inside the home, but at the same time, nobody wants a nasty energy bill to stretch the monthly budget.
In our quest to keep their homes cool for less, people often take certain actions without really thinking about the effects—or lack thereof! So the next time you’re looking for ways to keep the temperature and the cost down, make sure you’re not buying into one of the following air conditioning myths.
Myth #1: Behold the almighty fan
It’s loud, it moves fast, and there’s a definite breeze coming off it. Fans really keep a come cooler, right? Shouldn’t they be left on at all times, in every room of the house?
Well, no. If you’re sitting next to a fan, it can take away body heat by moving air across the skin. But it doesn’t actually lower the air temperature in a room. Leaving fans on when you leave the house, or even when you move to another room, is simply a waste of electricity. There are only two situations in which is makes sense to use fans:
1. You want to draw cooler air into a room from outside, or from another air conditioned room
2. You want to lower your body temperature by sitting in the path of a fan
Myth #2: I need a new air conditioner
Sometimes an air conditioner, whether ducted or ductless, simply doesn’t work very well. It runs and runs but the house doesn’t stay cool. Many people jump to the conclusion that they need to invest in a brand new unit. After all, it’s hot outside and they want a swift solution.
But the investment isn’t always necessary. Sometimes an air conditioner isn’t working right because it’s dirty or needs to be serviced. This is where it pays to call in a professional to assess the unit and perform a cleaning or repair if necessary. It could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and leave you with a perfectly adequate cooling system!
Myth #3: Air conditioners are just for cooling
Many people have an incomplete knowledge of how air conditioners work. Beyond just cooling the air, they also pull humidity out of it. This makes the air more comfortable and breathable, as well as keeping it cooler longer. Other ad hoc cooling methods, such as placing ice under a fan, simply do not have this important dehumidifying effect.
On top of that, air conditioners (especially modern ducted or “central”systems) effectively filter the air, removing pollen and dust for a healthier indoor environment.
Myth #4: If I turn the thermostat down lower, the air will cool faster
It makes sense, right? You want cooler air and you want it now. If you turn the temperature down to freezing, you should reach your desired temperature faster. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case with most air conditioners. They work steadily, evenly, cooling at the same rate no matter now low you set the thermostat. If you want to reach a temperature of 68 degrees, setting the thermostat to 58 will not get you there any faster. It will, however, probably lead to an unnecessary expenditure of energy.
Myth #5: It costs more to start and stop my air conditioner; I’ll just leave it running
Some people keep their cars running in traffic, believing that if they shut the engine off and start it up again, they’ll actually use more fuel than if they simply keep it running. Using the same logic, it might also be tempting to keep your air conditioning on all the time. But the unit will still have to work hard to maintain a low temperature, and your energy savings won’t be what you think. In fact, you’ll probably end up with a higher bill if you take this approach.
Have you enjoyed learning about these air conditioning myths? We’re here to help and educate, and if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to see them in the space below.