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5 Air Conditioning Myths That Could be Costing You Money in Austin

Does closing off vents to unused rooms save you money? Actually no, this is a myth and it could actually cause damage by putting unnecessary stress on the system. Well, if this is a myth, how many other money-saving tips are wrong? Are you making these same mistakes in an effort to save money? Here are the top 3 money-saving myths that end up costing you more money or causing you to need AC repair in Austin.

Myth #1: Leaving your air conditioner set on one temperature uses less energy.

You would think that the less it cycles on and off, the less energy it would use but this is wrong. It actually uses more energy to maintain a set temperature. To use less energy and save more money, lower your thermostat when you are away from home or asleep. A programmable thermostat can help you save money by allowing you to set up to 4 different temperature setting for daytime or night. It costs less for your AC to cool down from a 5 degree temperature difference than it does to run all day on one setting. In fact, you save an average of 1% for every decrease by one degree in temperature. To be effective the setback must be for a minimum of 8 hours.

Myth #2: Setting your air conditioner on the lowest setting will cool the house down faster.

This is a myth; it does not cool the house off any faster to set it lower than the usual temperature.

The air conditioner cools the air by drawing hot air in, passing it over super –cooled coils containing a refrigerant and blowing the cooled air out through the ductwork and out the vents. This process takes a certain amount of time and cannot be sped up to finish sooner. This method just uses more energy and makes your AC work harder to do the same job. Overworking your air conditioner can result in an unexpected AC repair or possibly a complete replacement.

Myth #3: Ceiling fans used with your AC keep rooms cooler.

Using your fans with the air conditioner does help save money but it does not cool rooms off. A ceiling fan or oscillating fan only cools the air around a person; it cannot cool the room off. It feels cooler to you when the air is blowing directly on you. How this saves money is that with the fan helping to cool your body, you can turn your air conditioner up a few degrees and still feel cool. Using this method you can set your thermostat up to 5 degrees warmer saving you money for each hour you keep it at the higher temperature. Using your air conditioner less reduces wear and tear on your system, saves money and helps you avoid AC repair bills.

Myth #4: Closing off vents to unused rooms saves energy and makes other rooms cooler.

Yes, this used to be effective with the older systems but newer ones work differently and this can cause too much pressure buildup within the system and can cause ductwork to split and your motor to seize. So, if you want to save money it is better to lower your thermostat when you go to work and when you go to bed at night. A temperature setback for 8 to 10 hours a night will help significantly to lower your energy costs.

Myth#5: Insulation and weather stripping only applies to furnaces and heating.

Why is this wrong? Because the best way to retain heat or keep cool is to create an airtight environment or an “envelope” around your home, this keeps air leaks from making your AC or furnace work harder to maintain the temperature. Weather stripping, insulation and keeping windows covered during the hottest part of the day all help your air conditioner keep you cooler and use less electricity.

Tips:

• Closing off vents can damage your cooling system by creating too much pressure.

• Pre-set thermostat setting save more money.

• The system cools at one rate and cannot be “sped up” to cool faster.

• A fan cools the air around your body making you feel cooler, not the room.

• Insulation and weather stripping also help keep your home cool as well as warm.

Now that you know the truth, you can optimize your air conditioning efforts so that you use less energy and save money. ABA Heating and Cooling are the experts in furnace and AC repair and maintenance. Call us for more information or to request HVAC service.