When it comes to getting the most efficient use out of your air conditioner, there is a lot of information out there. For instance, you might have read that you need professional maintenance done on your system once a year (or twice a year, if you have a heat pump). You might have heard that if a compressor dies it’s best to replace the whole AC system (in most cases, this is true).
Unfortunately, there are also less helpful tips that homeowners have heard and believed over the years—tips that, if followed, can be detrimental to the overall performance and functionality of your cooling system. We’ve debunked some of the most common below.
Myth #1: “My Air Filter Protects My Indoor Air Quality”
While the air filter that comes equipped with your AC system upon installation certainly doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, that is not its intended purpose. The air filter is in place to protect the HVAC system itself from dirt, dust, and other debris that can negatively impact the interior components of the system. Leaving a dirty air filter in your cooling system for too long puts undue stress on your AC, which will result in you needing repairs sooner rather than later.
“What if I can’t change my air filter myself?”
Changing the air filter isn’t necessarily a complex procedure. However, if you have a complex system or you’ve never changed the air filter before, please don’t hesitate to contact us right away. We’d rather you give us a call to assist than wait until your next maintenance, since most air filters should be changed every 1–3 months during periods of system use.
Myth #2: “If I Turn the Thermostat Down as Low as Possible, My Home Will Cool Down Faster.”
We understand why you’d might believe this concept, but it’s not the case. Your air conditioner works by pulling hot air out of your home and expelling it outdoors while putting the outside air through a refrigerant process via the compressor and condenser unit. This is what allows cool air to enter your home.
The compressor will run until the desired temperature on your thermostat is met, and then shut off again until it warms up. If you have your thermostat set too low—that is, lower than even possible for your air conditioner to reach on a 90°F day—all it will do is cause the compressor to run longer without shutting off. This puts unnecessary stress on the cooling system, and if you do this consistently you could find yourself replacing your air conditioner long before its lifespan was supposed to be met.
Myth #3: “It Doesn’t Matter Where I Install My Thermostat”
If your thermostat is installed in an area of your home that shadier or sunnier than most of the house, you’ll experience inconsistent cooling from the system. Your thermostat should be in a location of your living space that tells a true story of how hot or cool the living area actually is.
That said, more homeowners now are going with the ductless system—particularly in larger homes with multiple stories and rooms. Ductless systems allow for the air handlers to be individually controlled.
These are just a few of the common myths associated with air conditioning use. If you have any questions about the operation or functionality of your cooling system, please reach out to our team.