Debunking Air Conditioning System Myths – Find Out the Truth About Air Conditioner Maintenance

Air conditioning is a must for most homes today, but do you really know how it works? Unfortunately, many myths and misconceptions about air conditioners exist, leading some homeowners to use  their systems incorrectly. So, we’re busting through air conditioner maintenance myths to help you avoid an unexpected repair bill.

Myth: A Larger AC System Means More Power

Truth:  You don’t need a bigger air conditioner to get more power. Instead, you need a system that fits your home and your family needs. A unit that’s too big will constantly short cycle and not work as well as a unit that suits your home’s size. Short cycling happens when an air conditioner turns on and off quickly since its cooling capacity is too great for the space it needs to cool. Short cycling leads to increased wear and tear on the system, decreased comfort, and lower energy efficiency. In other words, you’re paying more for something that won’t work correctly and risk paying more on costly AC repair bills.

Myth: The Thermostat Can Be Placed Anywhere

Truth: People’s most common mistake with air conditioner thermostats is placing them in the wrong location. It’s a myth that your thermostat can be placed anywhere in your house. Your AC unit thermostat needs to go where it’s not affected by direct sunlight or other heat sources. It should be placed where the temperature remains relatively constant year-round. Typically, this means putting it on an interior wall (not exterior), away from any windows and away from doorways. You should also avoid placing it near vents or ducts, affecting its readings. If you have an upstairs/downstairs home, you may want to install two separate air conditioning units, each with its own thermostat on the respective level of your home.

Myth: The Furnace Only Gets Used in The Winter Months

Truth: Your home’s heating and cooling system isn’t a divided team. Instead, it’s one efficient, coordinated unit. Your system’s heating and cooling portions use the same blower fan to pull air from your home into the return ducts. The air is then heated or cooled in the furnace or air conditioner, as needed, before being pushed back into your home through supply ducts. This way, all the components of your HVAC system work together to keep you comfortable year-round.
Booking a regular AC tune-up with an HVAC professional will keep your furnace and AC system in peak condition, saving you money on your energy bills.

Myth: A Thermostat That’s Set Lower Will Result in A Cooler House Quicker

Truth: It’s a common misconception that you can cool your home faster by lowering your thermostat. The truth is, setting your thermostat at a lower temperature will only cause your AC to work harder to reach the desired temperature. Dropping your thermostat so low is also a waste of electricity and money. Your system will continue running until it reaches that temperature, which could take longer than if you had simply left it at a higher one. Additionally, manufacturer standards set a variance that you system will cool down to. For example, when it’s 100° outside, your system is designed to cool your home 20 degrees cooler within.

Myth: Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Will Save Money

Truth: A commonly-held belief about air conditioning is that closing the vents in rooms you don’t use will help you save money by not wasting energy on cooling those areas. In fact, closing vents can do more harm than good. The primary reason is how your air conditioning works as a whole.
Your AC unit is a system that circulates cool air throughout your home. When you close a vent in just one room, it upsets the balance of this system, making it harder for cool air to circulate everywhere else in your home. This forces your unit to work harder and longer to cool down other areas of the house. As a result, it uses more power. Additionally, when you close off some vents, it puts pressure on your ductwork, which can cause leaks over time.

Myth: You Only Need to Book an AC Tune-Up Every Few Years

Truth: Your car doesn’t run like it did the day it was brand new, does it? No matter how well you take care of it, your vehicle requires regular maintenance to keep running smoothly (and to avoid costly repairs down the road). The same is true of air conditioner maintenance. Over the years, your AC accumulates dust and dirt, which inhibits its performance and can lead to problems. What’s more, a dusty AC unit also leads to higher energy bills. An annual AC tune-up from a professional HVAC company like Moore Home Services helps to ensure that your unit continues to operate at peak efficiency for as long as possible. Contact our Santa Rosa, Northern California HVAC experts about scheduling a regular AC tune-up.