Heating and cooling is an important part of your home and family’s well-being. In addition, it can account for about half of your home’s total energy usage. Unfortunately, a few myths stand in the way of homeowners fully understanding how their systems work, which can lead to costly repairs and inefficient usage.
To prolong the lifespan of your system while cooling your home efficiently in the warmer seasons, learning the truth behind a few common myths is smart. This guide will help you keep cool by debunking common myths regarding your air conditioning system.
1. Bigger Is Better
In many instances, bigger is better. For example, a larger serving of ice cream is also nice to have on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, a bigger air conditioner unit is not always better. If your unit is oversized, it will most likely shut off once it reaches your desired temperature that is set on the thermostat.
Turning off once it reaches your desired temperature may be more efficient, but your system will not be running long enough to remove humidity from the air. In addition, constantly turning off and on places a great deal of stress on your unit, which reduces the function and lifespan of your system.
Known as short-cycling, oversized units will not run long enough to completely condition the home. To reduce the risk of short-cycling, your unit must be sized properly. Units should be sized according to a few factors, including your home’s square footage, layout, and your local climate.
Your contractor will use the above information to perform a load calculation. This will tell the contractor how many tons are needed for a unit to cool and condition your home in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
2. Changing Clean Filters Is Not Necessary
You probably already know that changing your system’s filters is necessary because they become clogged with dirt and dust over time. If left in place, air will not be able to flow freely into your home.
If your filters are gray in color or visibly clogged with dirt and dust, it is obviously time to replace them. However, many homeowners feel their filters do not need to be changed if they are still somewhat white in color. This is a myth that needs to be addressed.
Dirt and dust are not the only particles that move through your system. Algae and mold spores may also move through the ductwork along with the conditioned air. These allergens are not easy to see, so you will not notice an accumulation of algae and mold in your filters.
Even if your filters appear clean, you should replace them once a month. Clean filters are even more important if a member of the household smokes, you have pets, or you suffer from allergies or a respiratory disorder.
3. Cranking the Thermostat Down Will Cool Your Home Faster
Patience is a virtue that many homeowners have not learned, so you may be part of the group that believes cranking the temperature setting will help cool your home faster. Again, this is another common misconception that can lead to trouble with your system. No matter how fast you move the temperature settings, your air conditioner will work at the same speed to reach your desired temperature.
Erratic changes to the settings on your thermostat will place extra abuse on your system, decreasing efficiency and increasing your cooling costs. It is best to set your thermostat at one setting and be patient. Or install a programmable thermostat that will begin cooling before you arrive home.
Heating and cooling your home is essential for comfort and healthy air quality, so proper understanding is key. To learn more about operating and maintaining your system, contact Krauss & Crane, Inc.