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10 Air Conditioning Myths That are Costing You Money

We all have heard that in order to stay comfortable within your home when humidity turns the air sticky, you must set your AC thermostat at the lowest level, purchase the largest unit available, or close off vents to save energy and money.

However, keeping your house warmer than average when you are away and setting the thermostat to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling. It takes less energy to maintain a constant temperature rather than trying to bring it down quickly.

Here, you will find the biggest air conditioning myths and offer ways to save you money or troubleshoot without costing you comfort. 

Related: 10 Things to Check Before You Call an HVAC Technician

Heating and Cooling Guide - Step 1

What are the Biggest Air Conditioning Myths Costing You Money?

  • Your home will cool faster by turning your thermostat way down
  • Bigger AC Units Perform Better and Achieve Better Results  
  • Turning Off the AC When Your Not Home To Save Money
  • Air filters do not have to be replaced for a year
  • Its Best to Let Your Old AC Unit Die Before Replacing IT 
  • Thermostat location doesn’t affect air quality or temperature
  • Fans keep a room cooler
  • Close vents in unused rooms
  • Your Air Conditioner Won’t Run as Much if You Use A Ceiling Fan
  • Air conditioning checkups are a waste of time if you have a newer unit

Air Conditioning Myths You Might Have Heard

1. Your Home Will Cool Faster by Turning Your Thermostat Way Down.

Cooling a room or your home will always take time. Even setting your thermostat at the lowest setting, your AC unit will still run at the same pace. 

Using a thermostat that you can program may help with temperature fluctuations. You can increase the temperature when you’re leaving your home by a few degrees and then readjust the temperature back before you get home. This will help avoid the drastic increase or decrease in temperature.

Adjust your thermostat temperature according to your habits, preferences, and the temperature outside. The closer your thermostat setting is to the outside temperature, the more you’ll save. Find out more here in our article about the benefits of having a programmable thermostat.

Although, if you have a window unit, you probably have low, medium, and high settings. Naturally, using the highest setting will cool things off faster, but don’t forget to adjust it when you get to your perfect temperature.

2. Bigger AC Units Perform Better and Achieve Better Results  

An AC unit whose capacity is much too big for the space that it’s supposed to cool will force its compressor to turn itself on and off in quick intervals, wearing it out, shortening its life, and using a lot of electricity. If your unit is running in small bursts, it allows heat and humidity back into the house, which can cause damage over time.

The same goes for selecting an air conditioner size that is too small. It uses a lot of energy and money because the AC will constantly run to try to cool your home, even though it won’t be able to do so correctly. Selecting the right air conditioner size is the best way to get started saving money on your energy bill.

3. Turning Off the AC When Your Not Home To Save Money

This tactic is only true for extended periods. If you turn off the A/C before going to work on a hot day and turn it back on when you get home, your AC has to work harder to cool your home. It’s more advantageous to turn the thermostat up several degrees than off.

The recommendation is to turn the temperature up 7 to 10 degrees while you are away for the day. Turning up the thermostat is the better option because it:

  • Protects your home from mold and bugs: When you turn off your air conditioner it causes humidity, and in the summer mold, and insects thrive off of humidity.
  • Saves you money: When setting back your thermostat daily, a setback of 7-10 degrees F for eight hours a day can save money.
  • Keeps you comfortable: It maintains a cooler temperature all day while managing the indoor humidity.

4. Air Filters Do Not Have to be Replaced for a Year

Air filters accumulate dust, mold, and other dirt particles that are not only bad for your health but also cause poor airflow, which forces your AC unit to work harder. This results in more substantial electricity use and higher utility bills.

A clean filter effectively removes any airborne particulates, ranging from dust to small particles in the air. A dirty filter, however, can make indoor air quality worse by acting as a reservoir for dirt and other airborne contaminants that are continuously circulated back into your air. Changing your air filters according to your manufacturer’s recommendations will keep your air clean.

Thermostat Settings - Heating and Cooling

5. Its Best to Let Your Old AC Unit Die Before Replacing It 

While buying a new air conditioning unit can cost you money in the beginning, its higher efficiency will save you more money than holding on to and operating an old one.

The heating and air conditioning systems being manufactured today are highly efficient and use less energy than systems built just 10 – 15 years ago. The higher the SEER, the less energy used and less costly it to operate.

Consider the age of your unit, technology, repair costs, and overall system performance when choosing whether or not to purchase a new AC unit or not. Weighing your options with complete information will help make your decision about when to invest in a new air conditioning system.

6. Thermostat Location Doesn’t Affect Air Quality or Temperature 

The placement of your thermostat is crucial to your AC system’s performance and efficiency. A thermostat should always be placed away from heat or cooling sources, and in a central location where it can get an average reading of the temperature levels in your home. 

A thermostat that is not placed properly in your home can waste energy and money. A well-placed thermostat will read the temperature in your home accurately and meet your demands for a controlled environment.

7. Fans Keep a Room Cooler

Fans move air in a room but do not affect the air temperature. However, it creates a wind-chill effect, so it may make you feel cooler, making it an excellent solution when you want to cool down without lowering the thermostat. Fans are designed to cool people down, not rooms.

8. Close Vents in Unused Rooms 

Closing vents in rooms you do not use throws off the air distribution throughout your home. It causes pressure to build up in your ducts, making your air conditioning unit work harder. 

Read More: How to Prevent Bugs From Coming Through Air Conditioner Vents

9. Your Air Conditioner Won’t Run as Much if You Use A Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan does not increase the efficacy of your air conditioner. Ceiling fans don’t cool the air; it merely circulates the air that is already in the room.

Using a fan with your AC might enable you to turn the thermostat up slightly. This will save you money. It’s cheaper to use just your ceiling fan versus your air conditioner: a central air conditioning system runs about three kilowatts and costs 36 cents per hour, versus a ceiling fan running 30 watts, costing only one cent per hour. 

They can work together to optimize your savings without sacrificing your home comfort. 

10. Air Conditioning Checkups are a Waste of Time if you Have a Newer Unit

Do you have a high-efficiency, more modern air conditioner? Don’t you want to keep it performing that way for as long as possible? Here are some additional A/C maintenance tips to help you.

Scheduled service and cleaning will keep your unit running efficiently and catch potential problems that may have developed over the winter. Contact Modern HVAC today for professional heating and cooling services.

Contact Modern HVAC Today!

Our team is based in Neenah, and we serve the Fox Cities: this includes Appleton, Menasha, Kimberly, Greenville, and Darboy. Schedule a service with us today and we can come and take a look at your air conditioning unit!

Further Reading:

The Differences Between a Heat Pump and Central A/C

Modern Sheet Metal provides furnace and air conditioner service, repair, replacement and installation throughout Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Darboy, Kimberly, Kaukauna and Greenville. Please call us at 920-733-4713 to discuss your residential or commercial heating & cooling needs!