4 Common Myths About Your Home Air Conditioning System

[fa icon="calendar"] March 17, 2015 / by Home Services Expert

true or falseYour home air conditioning system is an important part of keeping you cool and comfortable during the hot Chico summers. But how much do you really know about your system? Below are some common myths that you might be believing.

Myth #1:
The sole purpose of an air conditioning system is to provide cool air.

Reality: Cooling is the primary purpose of an air conditioning system, but reducing humidity is another important one. 

To do this, an air conditioning system must be sized properly because a system that is too small will not adequately remove moisture from indoor air. This is a key function because humid air feels hotter and more uncomfortable than dryer air. Plus, it's not only humid outdoor air that your air conditioner has to conquer; activities such as cooking and showering can add as much as 25 pounds of moisture to your indoor air every day.

A smart reality: Contact a heating and air conditioning company like Experts In Your Home if you suspect that your air conditioning system is not adequately reducing moisture from your indoor air. A whole-house dehumidifier can create a more comfortable relative humidity level in your home.

Myth #2:
It's more efficient to leave your air conditioning system running all day when you're not home, than to turn it off and cool your home when you return.

Reality: Many people think that the higher the temperature indoors, the harder an air conditioning system has to work to reduce it. In fact, your air conditioner might work longer – until the temperature reaches the setting on your thermostat – but it won't work any “harder.” The bigger point is, why make the compressor – the most energy-consuming component in your air conditioning system – work constantly when it doesn't have to? Why spend money to cool your home when you don't have to?

A smart reality: Try a programmable thermostat. On the hottest days of the year, they allow you to start lowering your indoor air temperature an hour or two before you arrive home, so that it's cool and comfortable indoors upon your return.

Myth #3:
The lower you set your thermostat, the faster it will cool down your home.

Reality: Just like your furnace, your air conditioning system is designed to work at a steady pace and then turn off when your indoor air temperature reaches the setting on the thermostat. So turning the temperature way down won't cool your home any faster. Also, you run the risk of wasting energy if your home begins to feel like a freezer before you remember to re-adjust the thermostat. (The exception to this myth applies to window air conditioners, which usually have “low,” “medium” and “high” settings. A “high” setting will indeed cool a room faster than a “low” setting).

A smart reality: Need we say more about the beauty of programmable thermostats? If you need more time to become sold on this practical, energy-saving installation, try reaching a middle ground by raising your thermostat by 10 degrees or so before you leave home. This way, even on the hottest summer days, you'll be a little uncomfortable for only as long as it takes for your air conditioner to cool down your home by 10 degrees.

Myth #4:
Running ceiling fans all day will help keep my home cool.

Reality: Ceiling fans do not cool rooms or reduce indoor temperatures – not even by 1 degree; they cool people by creating a wind-chill effect on the skin.

Smart reality: We love ceiling fans, especially because we know they can effectively work in tandem with your air conditioner to help you save money in the summer. When a fan evaporates moisture from your skin, you'll feel cooler; and when you feel cooler, you can bump your thermostat to a higher temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy calculates that when you turn a ceiling fan to "medium" or "high," you can set your thermostat about 4 degrees higher than usual, with no noticeable difference in comfort. And that's an adjustment that adds up to good, common cents.

The next time you need an air conditioning system service or repair, contact Experts In Your Home. Serving Chico, CA & surrounding areas, we are experts in your home.

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