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It's That Time of Year Again for Air Conditioning... Myths

It's That Time of Year Again for Air Conditioning... Myths

Summer’s been here in Texas for a while despite what your calendar says. That means it’s really A/C season – and you know what that brings, don’t you?

Air conditioning myths (regardless of whether or not you have a high efficiency air conditioner).

Myth 1: Leave a ceiling fan on when you’re not in a room because it will keep the room cool.

No. This is called a waste of energy.

Fans don’t lower the temperature in a room; they simply cool people off by circulating air to create drafts of air that feels good on hot skin.

So, remember two things:

  • Set your fan to run counter-clockwise during hot weather so it directs air downward.
  • Turn your fan off when you leave a room.

Myth 2: When you’re not home, save money by leaving your A/C running but with the thermostat at a high temperature

Absolutely not true. This will NOT save money.

While it is true that turning off your high efficiency air conditioner while you’re gone means that you’ll come home to a very warm house, it’s less energy-efficient to leave it on all day. Besides, patience is a virtue – and it’ll only take a few minutes for your home to cool down.

If you have a programmable thermostat, simply set it to start about 10-15 minutes before you return home.

Myth #3: Setting the thermostat very low will help your home cool faster.

Not true. The air from your AC unit comes out at the same rate regardless of where you set the thermostat.

Let’s say your home is warm – around 78° – and you want to cool it down to 71°. Don’t set it at 55° thinking that your home will drop the 6 degrees faster. Set it at 72° and your home will cool just as fast.

Of course, this doesn’t apply if your AC has settings of “high”, “medium”, and “low” since you’re setting the speed of the fan, not a specific temperature.

Myth 4: If you have central air, increase efficiency and save money by closing vents around your home.

While it’s understandable to think that there’s logic to this, the opposite is what most likely will happen.

The idea behind closing vents is that less area to cool will save money. However, your system still cranks out cold air, so instead of cooling the air in a useable space like a room, unusable space is being cooled; in fact, the ducts inside your high efficiency air conditioner system might be rather chilly!

If you really want to keep one room or small space cool, consider getting a window unit instead.

What is NOT a myth? Use common sense when you use your AC. Set your thermostat at reasonable temperature and make sure no windows are open to let in drafts.

Ignore the myths about AC – and keep both your home and bank account cool and fresh.

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