We all rely on cooling systems to keep us comfortable. That doesn’t mean we necessarily understand the ins and outs of how these systems work. In fact, there are plenty of common misconceptions about what will and won't help keep you cool. To conserve energy and lower your electric bills, familiarize yourself with these cooling system myths.
Myth #1 - Ceiling Fans Cool Down a Room
While ceiling fans do circulate the cool air that comes out of your AC unit, they don’t create cooler air by itself. They may be a great way to supplement your cooling system, allowing you to run it less frequently, but they're not the replacement some believe them to be.
Myth #2 - One Annual Filter Change is Enough
Changing the filter of your HVAC system helps it run more efficiently and increases airflow. A dirty filter prohibits your system from running to its full potential, and one yearly filter change simply isn’t enough. Every few months throughout the year—not just the summer—you should clean your filter or replace it altogether, depending on how dirty it is.
Myth #3 - Setting Your AC To a Higher Temperature Saves Energy
This myth is only true as long as you’re not comparing the savings to those you'd get if you turned your system off completely. To save the maximum amount of energy, turn your whole system off, not just up, while you’re out. Your home won’t take nearly as long as you’d think to cool down once you return.
Myth #4 - The Location of my Thermostat Doesn’t Matter
Some believe that where their thermostat is placed within their home has no effect on how the system runs. This is false. Putting the thermostat too close to vents, windows, or other heating and cooling elements could cause it to turn off prematurely, before the bulk of your space reaches the desired temperature, or it could cause the system to run longer than it needs to, driving up energy consumption.
Myth #5 - You Should Close Vents in Unused Rooms
Have you closed the vents in your guest room when no one is there in order to save energy? If you answered yes, you’ve fallen victim to this myth! Your HVAC system needs to be balanced in order to function efficiently. Closing a vent just shifts the strain to other areas of the system, potentially causing it to use even more energy, not less.
Myth #6 - My System Only Requires Maintenance if There’s a Problem
Many people wait until the system is failing before they schedule maintenance on it. This mindset is too reactive. HVAC systems are intricate and contain many different working components. That means they require a regular “check up” even if they appear to be working perfectly fine. Proactive check-ups can prevent future issues, and help ensure your cooling system is running as efficiently as possible, reducing energy consumption.
Myth #7 - A Plunging Temperature on the Thermostat Will Cool My Home Quicker
Regardless of what temperature you set the thermostat in your home to, your cooling system will work at the same speed. That means whether you set it to 75 degrees or 65 degrees, it’ll cool your home at the same pace. All you’re doing by pushing the temperature way down is causing your system to run longer to ultimately reach the temperature you set the thermostat to, which may end up being a big waste of energy (and money).