Larry Cook Heating & Cooling

Common Air Conditioner Facts and Myths

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This article covers common air conditioner myths that we hear on a regular basis when speaking with customers. We’ll explain the air conditioner facts to debunk the myths!

Myth: Turning Thermostat Down Cools Space Faster

Sometimes customers ask whether turning their thermostat down lower cools their home more quickly. Or, they ask, “will turning down thermostat save energy?” The answer to these questions is no. These are common air conditioner myths that are not true! Setting a thermostat lower than your desired temperature is actually unhelpful and could have negative consequences, such as placing unnecessary strain on an air conditioner which could necessitate AC repairs in the future. Here’s why turning a thermostat down lower does not cool a home more quickly. When an individual adjusts their thermostat to cool their home, it communicates with the connected air conditioner to help the air conditioner know when it’s compressor and fans should turn on and off. Adjusting the thermostat to an extremely low temperature does not change the speed that the air conditioner will cool, instead, it simply tells the air conditioner that it needs to continue to cool until it reaches the set temperature. So, now you know – turning the thermostat down low does not cool a home more quickly!

At Larry Cook Heating and Cooling, we frequently install programmable thermostats for customers. Programmable thermostats are fantastic tools to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to set the temperature on a schedule, so that the temperature will increase or decrease automatically. Customers often experience energy savings and decreased wear and tear on their HVAC unit by using a programmable thermostat.

Whether you have a programmable thermostat or not, it’s best to adjust your thermostat according to your preferences (and not any lower!). The Department of Energy recommends that thermostats be set at 78° Fahrenheit in the summer months to best balance comfort and energy savings.

Myth: Bigger AC Units Are Better

Are bigger ac units better? When it comes to air conditioning systems, bigger is not always better. This is another air conditioning myth. The best air conditioner size for a home or business depends on a variety of factors, such as, the size of the space, insulation, building materials, weather conditions, and more. It’s important to have the correct size air conditioner because if not the air conditioner will cost you more money than it should, using up more energy and driving up utility bills.

If you’re wondering whether your air conditioner is too big for your home after reading above, it’s best to call an HVAC professional to find out. However, there are signs that you can watch out for that signal an air conditioner is too large for the space its cooling. Specifically, if your air conditioner is starting up then shutting down quickly on a regular basis throughout the day then this is a sign that an air conditioner is too large for the space. Also, the short cycling can take its toll on the air conditioner system over time, causing accelerated wear and tear on the HVAC system. An air conditioner can also be too small for a space, as well. When this happens, the air conditioner will run more often than it should and struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature.

So, now you know, bigger is not always better and it’s important to invest in the correct sized air conditioner for HVAC system longevity and energy savings. In a recent blog post, we discuss the best air conditioners available in 2022. Keep in mind, at Larry Cook Heating and Cooling, we provide our customers with free customized HVAC recommendations based on the customers’ specific needs.

Myth: Turning Off AC While Away Saves Energy

Have you ever considered turning off your air conditioner when you are away from your home to save energy and decrease your utility bills? We’ve heard it said that turning off an air conditioner when away from the home can save energy. This may be true for extended periods of time, but it certainly is not recommended and not true when it comes to short periods of time.

Many homes in the Wichita metro area are unoccupied on Mondays-Fridays while people are at work or school. While gone for the day, some people opt to turn off their air conditioner before they leave for work or school so that they don’t have to pay for the cost to cool their home while they are not there. Turning off an air conditioner during the work day does conserve energy, but this small energy conservation measure causes more harm than good. In summer time, doing so will likely cause more harm than good because by the time the individual comes home from work or school the temperature inside the home will have risen considerably and then the air conditioner will have to work much harder to cool down the home to the desired temperature, thereby consuming more energy than the air conditioner would have, had the air conditioner just been left on while gone for the day.

If you are interested in saving energy while you are away from your home during the day, it is best to simply turn up the temperature several degrees and then adjust the temperature back down to your desired temperature when you return home for the day.

In addition to the issues identified above, turning off an air conditioner during an extremely hot day could cause indoor appliances to breakdown, and walls and furniture to warp and crack due to the heat. If pets are living in the home, the excess heat could be life threatening to the pets.

Myth: You Don’t Need to Replace Air Filters

Replacing air filters is one of the most important tasks that a homeowner can do to keep their air conditioning system working well. An HVAC systems’ air filters help keep dust, debris, and other particulates from collecting inside of an HVAC system. When an HVAC systems’ air filters are dirty and clogged, the HVAC system cannot circulate air properly which causes an air conditioner and furnace to work harder than it should. When an air conditioner is working harder than it should be, it will inevitably use more energy. Also, dirty air filters negatively impact indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is an important health consideration because poor air quality has been linked to numerous health conditions, such as, lung cancer, asthma, and allergies.

Customers often ask us when to replace air filters, and the answer depends on a variety of factors. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. In general, most experts recommend replacing air filters every 90 days (or 3 months). However, if you have pets in your home, live in a dusty area or a high-pollen area, we recommend replacing your air filters on a monthly basis. Either way, it’s important to check an HVAC systems’ air filters on a monthly basis to ensure that they are not dirty or clogged.

Questions About Your Air Conditioner?

We are happy to help customers better understand their air conditioning systems. At Larry Cook Heating and Cooling, we provide AC repair services, installation, maintenance, and free estimates. Contact us today at (316) 322-5668 if you are looking for an HVAC company that you can rely on!

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