Air Conditioning Myths

Introduction:It's winter - you're nice and cool (OK, maybe even cold). What better time to test your air conditioning IQ? It will have you remembering all that sunshine and all the warmth. Unfortunately, it may have you remember those high cooling bills. Now's the time to learn 5 myths so you stand a chance of reducing your bill when summer comes round again.

  • 01

    Lowering the Thermostat

    You come home and it's really hot because you turned off the A/C when you left (more about that in number 3). So you crank down the temperature. That will cool you off faster. Most likely you're wrong! Your A/C probably only has a single fan speed - it's going to put out the same amount of cool air at the same temperature despite a lower thermostat. Note there are a few higher end models have variable speed air handlers.

  • 02

    Turning the A/C Off

    You're off to work and that means you'll be gone about 9 hours. It would be wasteful to cool the house so you switch the A/C off. Bad move. Your air conditioner is going to have to work really hard to try to bring down the temperature. Instead, invest in a programmable thermostat or use the one you have correctly. When you leave program it to about 7 to 10 degrees F lower than the usual setting. It won't use as much electricity and it won't have to run as long or as hard to reach the temperature you've set for your arrival.

  • 03

    Keep Ceiling Fans Running In Rooms You Don'T Use

    Ceiling fans don't lower the temperature in a room. They keep you cool by evaporating the moisture that's present on your body. So, they're not going to cool that empty room. However, use the fans in the room where you are and they will help make you more comfortable. You may even be able to set the A/C's temperature a degree or two higher. But, they'll do no good in an empty room.

  • 04

    Close Vents In a Room

    You aren't going to go in the guest room until Aunt Mabel shows up, so you should close the vent and send the air elsewhere. Right? Wrong. Almost all modern central air systems are balanced to distribute cool air evenly throughout the home. So, you're trapping the air in the A/C ducts - they might even get frosty. Plus, the compressor/condenser may cycle more frequently putting a strain on the system - a factor that can accelerate wear and tear and shorten the life of the A/C.

  • 05

    Help Your Air Conditioner Do Its Job

    Use a programmable thermostat and you could save as much as 10% on your annual bills. And, be sure to remember to schedule a pre-season checkup for your unit with a registered, licensed air conditioning company. You might even want to call now and see if you can get some winter savings on a maintenance package for the coming summer and summers to come.





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