Every summer, people try to find new ways to keep cool while saving energy. That leads to lots of tips floating around about managing your air conditioner system. Many of the tips people share are actually false, though, and could end up costing you more. The SMO Energy team is here to help debunk these myths for you, so you can get the most out of your AC.
Myth #1: Air conditioning filters should be replaced once a year
False: The filters in an air conditioner system should be replaced a minimum of every three months. Keeping these filters in for as long as a year can leave enough time for dust and dirt to accumulate. These pollutants can block airflow, requiring your air conditioner to use more energy and reducing its efficiency. In addition, the blocked airflow can make the air conditioner leak water into your home.
Myth #2: Cranking the thermostat cools the house faster
False: The thermostat cools and heats the house at a set rate, regardless of the temperature setting. That means setting it at 50 when you want it to be 72 isn’t going to get it to 72 any faster. In a Yahoo! Green article, Jamy Bacchus of the National Resources Defense Council compared using a GPS on a road trip as an example: “If you are driving from New York to Philadelphia and you set your GPS to Washington D.C. you aren’t going to get to Philadelphia any faster.”
Myth #3: Ceiling fans keep the house cool
False: Fans don’t change a home’s temperature. They do, however, create a cooling effect when moving air touches your body’s perspiration. Running a fan when no one is home is a waste of energy since no one is there to feel this effect.
Myth #4: Turning off your AC while you are at work saves money and energy
Partially true: Turning off your AC does save money, but it also forces your AC to work much harder when it is finally turned back on. This negates the savings of turning off the AC while you’re at work.
However, a better solution to saving money while you are away is to adjust the thermostat to five or six degrees higher than your comfortable setting. This allows your AC to work less during the day while you’re gone, making it easier to cool the house at night. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can run a program to automatically adjust the temperatures during hours you are not home. This brings you savings you don’t even have to think about.
Myth#5: Closing vents in unused parts of the house will push air where I want it
Formerly true, now false: This was true at one point in time, but with newer high-performance AC systems, units rely on the delicate balance to keep your house sufficiently cool. If you close off vents to parts of the house, you may upset the balance and cause the system to work harder to compensate, and not dehumidify that part of the house properly. This can end up costing you more instead of conserving energy.
Still, there are ways for you and your family to stay comfortable while saving energy all year long. SMO Energy is your source for efficient, reliable home energy solutions. Our team of NATE-certified technicians can help with free home energy consultations, air conditioning installation and more.