Between routine maintenance, changing filters, and heating or cooling your New Orleans, LA, home efficiently, there is a lot of information about HVAC maintenance. This can make it difficult to separate fact from fiction. But with the biggest share of your energy bill going towards heating and cooling, it’s important to fall for persistent myths. This post breaks down air conditioning myths that will cost you money or necessitate the services of an AC repair company.
Your Home Will Cool Faster If You Turn Down the Thermostat
The AC will continue to run at the same pace whether you set the thermostat at the highest or lowest setting. A programmable thermostat can help with maintaining an optimal temperature in your home. You could increase the temperature by a few degrees when you aren’t home and lower the setting when you get back.
The thermostat setting should match your preferences, habits, and outside temperatures. The closer the thermostat setting is to the outside temperatures, the more you’ll save. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, using the highest settings when you have a window unit will cool the house faster. Remember to adjust the setting when you achieve the perfect temperature.
Bigger AC Units Provide Better Results
An oversize AC will force the compressor to turn on and off frequently. It will never run long enough to cool your home, allowing heat and humidity back into the space. Running in short bursts will use a lot of electricity without delivering the desired results. This will damage the components long-term and shorten the unit’s lifespan.
Installing a unit too small for your home doesn’t help either. The AC will use up a lot of electricity but won’t be able to cool the house adequately. Selecting the right size air conditioner is the best way to save on your energy bill, and an AC repair company can help.
You Don’t Need to Replace Air Filters for a Year
An HVAC myth you should dispel is the idea that you only need to change the air filter once or twice a year. Several factors affect how often you should change your air filters. However, it’s always a good idea to clean them at least once a month. Just a month of regular heating and cooling can clog the air filter with dust and debris. A dirty or clogged air filter strains the unit as it works harder to draw air through the trapped debris, dust, and lint.
Replacing the air filter every 90 days can also ensure the maximum efficiency of your air conditioning system. You may have to replace the filters more often in high-use seasons, especially if you have pets. Talk to a local AC repair company in New Orleans, LA, about an inspection and determining the right air filter for your AC.
Turning Off When You Aren’t Home Will Save You Money
This tactic only works if you are away from home for extended periods, such as on a 2-week family vacation. However, turning off the AC before heading to work on a hot summer day and turning it on when you get back won’t do you any favors. You’d be better off turning the thermostat up several degrees rather than turning it off.
As a leading AC repair company, we suggest turning the thermostat up by 7-10 degrees when you are away for the day. Doing so helps protect your home from mold and bugs, saves money on energy bills, and keeps the house comfortable. Energy Star, a federal program run by the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency, recommends keeping your thermostat setting at 78 degrees when at home.
It’s Best to Let Your AC Die Before Replacing It
Buying a new AC is expensive, so it’s understandable why you’d be tempted to wait until the old one kicked the bucket before getting a replacement. However, holding on to an ancient unit struggling to do its job may cost you more money in energy bills.
Modern air conditioners are highly energy-efficient and use less energy than systems manufactured 10-20 years ago. Look for units with a higher SEER rating as they use less energy and are cheaper to operate. Other factors to consider when shopping for a new AC include capacity, overall system performance, technology, and repair costs. An AC repair company can guide you through different systems and help you choose a system that works for your home.
Regular AC Maintenance Is Unnecessary
This big misconception will cost you hundreds if not thousands in expensive repairs or premature unit replacement. Regular checkups offer the AC repair company an opportunity to inspect your system, detect potential problems, and resolve them before they escalate. It helps keep the AC running efficiently for as long as possible.
Without regular checkups, a water leak in the drain pipe may lead to mold problems, a clogged air filter may cause respiratory issues, and dirty coils may lead to AC compressor coils. Scheduling service and cleaning at least twice a year saves you money in the long run.
Closing the Vents Will Save You Money
The HVAC will use the same amount of energy whether or not you close the vents. Closing the vents in unused rooms will only force the conditioned air into other rooms in the house. This can lead to various issues, including;
- Frozen evaporator coils
- Cracked heat exchanger
- Humidity control problems in the closed-off rooms
- Dead compressors
- Pressurization and airflow issues throughout the house
- Increased pressure and duct leaks
Your AC is designed with a certain amount of vents, space, and registers. All the vents need to remain open for the system to work efficiently. Blocking some vents messes with the airflow and causes pressure buildup. The resulting issues cited above are why our AC repair company recommends keeping your vents open, free, and clear.
Thermostat Location Doesn’t Matter
Another harmful AC myth, especially among those installing a new thermostat or building a home, is that the thermostat’s location doesn’t matter. However, there are many locations where you shouldn’t place the thermostat. These include too near to the window, in the direct path of the sunlight, or too close to vents. These locations can make it difficult for the thermostat to determine your home’s temperature accurately. The result is uneven heating and cooling, which can cause undue stress on the system and cost you money in the long run. Talk to an AC repair company about optimal thermostat locations for maximum efficiency.
Schedule a Maintenance Checkup with an Air Conditioning Repair Company
If you believe any of these myths, it’s time to change your mind. Instead, trust your local AC repair company in New Orleans, LA, to provide the maintenance checkups your system needs to keep running efficiently. You’ll prevent any issues arising from air conditioning myths while extending the lifespan of your unit.
Contact the team at bluefrog Home Services of New Orleans today to schedule an appointment.