As spring turns to summer, it’s time to start thinking about your air conditioning, including regular service of your unit for maximum efficiency. There are a lot of theories circulating on the web concerning how to save on air conditioning costs, and these myths can lead to plenty of inaccurate knowledge about how your air conditioning system actually works.
Here are some common myths you should not buy into, especially as you prepare your home for this year’s warm season.
One of the easiest and oldest methods of cooling involves using moving air to evaporate sweat from your skin. A breeze feels good on a hot day, and a ceiling or portable fan feels good inside. But some people think a fan will lower the temperature in the home, so they leave ceiling fans or portable fans running in every room as an attempt to help reduce the workload or their home’s air conditioning system.
Fans can make you feel cooler by creating a wind chill which can make you feel cooler. Fans may help lower your cooling bill because you may feel comfortable when increasing the thermostat a few degrees. Fans don’t actually lower the temperature of your home.
So if you run a fan in rooms that you’re not actually in, you’re burning electricity for nothing. Take the time to turn off fans before you leave the room.
You might be tempted to really crank down the thermostat to cool down your warm house faster. However, all this does is significantly increase the stress on your air conditioning system, specifically the compressor, while drastically increasing your power consumption.
Central air conditioning cools air steadily, and the system will not suddenly pump out colder air just because you lower the thermostat. Lowering the temperature means your air conditioner will only work longer to cool your house to the temperature you indicate, your home will not get colder any faster.
Some online debaters will tell you that it’s better to keep your thermostat at your desired temperature all the time, even when you’re not at home, instead of adjusting the thermostat up and down throughout the day based on when you’ll be gone. However, if no one is at home during the day, you may be wasting money.
Your compressor works to replace warm air with cold air. Whether you are home or away your air conditioner will continue to satisfy your thermostat settings. If you are away from your home for an extent period of the day your air conditioning system is simply cooling an empty home.
It will save money to focus instead on programming your thermostat to setback or during those times you are typically away. A common setback of 4-6 degrees will lessen the workload of your cooling system during away times. While setting your thermostat’s cooling schedule you can plan for your air conditioning to recover your regular settings before you arrive home. This way, you don’t have to wait for you’re A/C to catch up when you get home, but also aren’t running your system for no reason at all.
Many people feel that the best system for their home is the biggest one they can afford. This could not be further from the truth. If you’re A/C unit is too large for your home, it will not run as often, thus restricting its ability to reduce your home’s indoor humidity level. Higher humidity makes the air warmer and more uncomfortable during cooling season, leaving your air feeling moist and clammy.
Oversized units will also wear out faster, because they cool your house so quickly. The air conditioning systems run cycles will become what we call a short cycle or short run. Short cycling is when your system runs briefly and then shuts off. A short cycle is just long enough to satisfy your thermostat’s call for cooling, but not truly providing even comfort. The constant starting and stopping of short cycles wears a machine out faster than long, even cooling runs.
For more information on cooling, contact us at Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing.