Since air conditioning is such an important part of American life — it certainly is here in the Silver Spring and Beltsville area — it’s pretty understandable that there would be quite a few myths and misconceptions about air conditioners and how to use them. In our most recent article, we discussed some of the biggest myths regarding air conditioning and AC service. Believe it or not, all of the following are false: ceiling fans help cool the air, bigger air conditioners are always better, air conditioners are the only way to cool your home, air conditioners only cool the air (when in fact they also help by reducing humidity), and setting the temperatures as low as possible will cool the room faster.
But those are far from the only myths we hear at JC & JC HVAC Mechanical contractors hear about air conditioners. In fact, we have just as many in this article, as we bring you six more myths and misconceptions about air conditioner maintenance and usage. Don’t get fooled by the following!
MYTH: Turn Off The AC During the Day
Unless you’re going to be gone for days, this bit of advice usually ends up not being that practical. While it might sound like it makes sense — not using something saves energy, right? — the truth plays out much differently.
When you turn off your air conditioner, the house really heats up. If you like the temperature at 70-degrees and leave the blinds open, we wouldn’t be surprised if you come home to a 100-degree house. Once you turn it back on again when you get home, a lot of energy has to be used in order to make up the difference and to fight against that level of heat…not to mention the strain it puts on your air conditioner. It’s a huge uphill struggle for the air conditioner, when it could have a much easier time if you keep reading to the next myth…
MYTH: Leave the Thermostat the Same All the Time
Now that we’ve told you that you shouldn’t turn off your AC during the day, it’s also important to let you know that energy can be saved if you let it get a bit hotter while you’re away at work.
The best plan is to set your programmable thermostat so that the temperature never gets above 80-degrees. The AC can chip away at the rising temperature throughout the day instead of battling it all at once, and in controlled tests this tends to save between 5 and 10 percent on energy consumption. Plus, using a programmable thermostat can make sure you’re comfortable the moment you get home instead of having to wait an hour to get to your preferred temperature. Wouldn’t you rather come home to that 70-degree house than a 100-degree one?
MYTH: Furnace Maintenance Is A Must…AC Maintenance, Not So Much
For some reason, people tend to think that taking care of their air conditioner isn’t as important as taking care of a heating unit. Maybe they’re more afraid of what can go wrong with a natural gas furnace and the carbon monoxide fumes it can produce. Perhaps they see the seemingly simple box outside of their home and don’t think about the complexities inside, while the furnace unit is a big monstrosity sitting in the basement (though it’s important to remember that the AC is using the blower part of that monstrosity in order to move the cool air through the house.) Or maybe it’s the fact that they get to see the intricacies of the furnace whenever they change the filter.
Even if AC units aren’t thought about much, both air conditioners and heating units are high-tech pieces of equipment that require regular maintenance. Not only does AC maintenance keep the unit working more efficiency — saving you money on your energy bill — but it can also find smaller problems and fix them before they become much bigger problems. And if these bigger problems mean that you have to make an urgent call for AC repair over a weekend, you’ll certainly feel the heat of emergency charges from most HVAC companies.
MYTH: Using an Air Conditioner Can Make You Sick
This is just an urban legend, and it might in fact be an old wives tale. Yes, we see where it comes from: People get sick more in the winter, so bringing the cold into your home during summer can encourage sickness.
It’s important to remember that winter sicknesses are brought about by bacteria and viruses, not by the temperature in a room. And while air conditioning might make people stay in close proximity to each other as they’re escaping the heat, it’s not the cold air itself that’s causing the problem.
MYTH: Run It ‘Til It Gives Out
In this article we talked about the signs to watch out for that mean your AC unit might be about to give out for good. While we doubt anyone has an emotional connection to their air conditioner, people still try to keep them going for as long as possible in hopes of putting off purchasing a new one.
There are two problems with the “run it ‘til it dies” idea. First, an old air conditioner (anything over 15 years old) will be considerably less efficient than a new model. That means you’re wasting money every month you keep it in service, while you could be saving money on your energy bill with new AC installation. The other aspect to take into account is the cost of repair bills. If you are in constant need of AC repair thanks to your old unit, you’ll be wasting a lot of money calling an HVAC company.
MYTH: All Air Conditioners Are Created Equal
If you have an air conditioner installed that’s the right size for your house, it’s very likely that it will cool your home just fine. But just because it’s cooling your home doesn’t mean that it’s doing so in the most efficient way possible. Just like different car models use varying amounts of gasoline more or less efficiency, the same is true of air conditioning and other HVAC units. Each is rated according to energy efficiency and the bells and whistles it provides. When you work with JC & JC HVAC Mechanical contractors, we’ll help guide you regarding which air conditioner is right for you based on your needs.
Let Us Put These Myths To Rest!
When you work with JC & JC HVAC mechanical contractors, you’re getting our combined decades of experience to help you take care of your current air conditioner and help you choose a new one when the time comes. If you have any questions about HVAC service — or think you might have fallen for a myth we haven’t covered — we’d love to talk with you about it. Contact us today to get the best service in the Silver Spring area, including Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, and Beltsville!