This is one of my favorite topics: Olive, Shatterer of Myths! It feels epic when I get to take on misconceptions. Yeah, maybe that sounds a bit grandiose, but I love helping people. Not many dogs get a chance to reach as many people as I do.
Anyway, today the myths I’m smashing apart are the sort you may have heard people tell you about air conditioning. These myths have a way of spreading fast even with nothing to back them up. They just sort of “seem” true, even though they aren’t.
ONE: If your AC isn’t cooling you enough, get a bigger one
Occasionally, this turns out to be correct. The problem is that it implies something false that can lead to major problems, which is that the bigger an AC, the better cooling you’ll get from it.
The truth is that an AC must be the right size for a home, neither too small nor too big. An air conditioner that’s too big will turn into a massive energy waster. If your current AC isn’t doing enough to cool the house, let our experts look at it. The system may have been badly installed originally so that it’s too small. But the issue could also be a repair need or an AC that’s too old. Don’t make the assumption you need a bigger AC!
TWO: HVAC experts are only necessary to repair your AC
Well, we’re certainly great when it comes to repairs! But HVAC pros are your long-term partners in comfort, and they can do a lot for your air conditioner even when it appears to be working well. Specifically, maintenance. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: maintenance is the most important service we offer. Annual inspections and tune-ups make your cooling better, less costly, and longer-lived.
THREE: Running “fan-only” mode helps cool the air
The “fan-only” mode on your AC can help you save energy and feel more comfortable, but it doesn’t lower the temperature of the air. It moves the air, which makes you feel cooler when you’re in the room. But just running the fan when nobody is around is wasteful: the air is still the same temperature. You need people to experience the airflow to get any benefit from the fan.
FOUR: You can save energy by shutting off the AC when you aren’t home
It’s easy to understand why people might think this is true. Why use the power for the AC when nobody is around to enjoy it? But I only recommend fully shutting off the AC if you’re gone for a long time.
The problem with shutting the AC all the way off when the house is empty is that it takes much more power to cool the house down when you come back than if you left the AC running at a warmer temperature. I recommend you raise the thermostat by 8° to 10° when you’re away from home; when you come back and lower the AC to its normal temperature, it will require much less power to get to your standard comfort level. Programmable thermostats make this job even easier!
If you need any help with your air conditioning in Alcoa, TN, we’re here for you!