When you’re trying to cut down on the amount of money that you spend on your energy bills, the electricity that you use for your air conditioner is an important part of the equation. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around that could actually cost you more if you use the tips rather than save you money. While small hacks might not seem that important, even the little details of how you run your home can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in expenses every summer. Avoid falling into the traps that these cooling myths create.
Myth: Bigger Is Better
We all want to believe that we can improve the efficiency of the way that we do things, so you might think that a bigger air conditioner will be better. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. When you get a larger air conditioner, it will cool your house down more quickly, but this speed comes at a cost. Your air conditioner doesn’t simply cool down the air in the house; it also takes out the humidity and allergens in the air, but it needs several cycles to do this. An air conditioner that’s large is very efficient at cooling down the house, but it’s not able to keep up with removing the humidity and allergens because it needs more cycles to do this. What you’re left with when your air conditioner works too quickly is a house that’s cool but that still has a damp feeling, which most people find uncomfortable.
Myth: Air Conditioners Make Air
An air conditioner is a machine that takes the heat and humidity out of the air, but there are some people who seem to think that an air conditioner manufactures air. To better understand how an air conditioner works, you should think about what coolness is: It’s just the absence of heat. When you have a warm house, the air conditioner pulls air from your house, takes the heat out of the air with the use of a refrigerant, and then pumps the air that has significantly less heat and moisture in it back into the house. Understanding this basic process will make you more able to understand the repairs and maintenance that an air conditioning technician might perform on your air conditioner.
Myth: Heat Leaks In Through the Doors and Windows
When you’re wondering how all of the heat is entering your home even when the doors and windows are closed, you might think that the seals around your doors and windows are to blame. If you have fairly new seals, you should start looking at the walls, electrical outlets, and piping in the walls. While a fair amount of heat can come in through the cracks around the doors and windows, the walls in a wooden house can be an even bigger source of heat transfer. If you have a brick house, you’ll notice the effects of heat transfer considerably less because brick is better at insulating a house.
Myth: You Can Save Money by Closing Unused Doors and Vents
A common trick that people try in order to save money is to shut the doors and vents of rooms that aren’t being used. Unfortunately, this method actually backfires because your HVAC system was designed for your entire house. Closing vents and windows blocks airflow, so your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your house, which means that your electricity bill is likely to go up.
Myth: Turning the Thermostat Way Down Cools Your House Faster
When you’re trying to find a way to cool down your house quickly, you might be tempted to drop the thermostat down to a ridiculously cold temperature. However, even if you set your thermostat at 50 degrees, the air conditioner still won’t be able to cool your house down any faster than if you set your air conditioner at the 70 degrees that you actually want your house to maintain for a temperature. Instead, your air conditioner will simply continue to run long after you’ve reached 70 degrees, which could actually cost you money.
Myth: Electricity Prices Stay Constant All Day
The price of electricity can vary throughout the day and even throughout the month based on the power supply and demand. That means that you’ll pay more to cool your house when everyone else is trying to do the same thing. Peak usage for electricity is usually around the early evening hours when everyone is getting home from work. That’s why you should try to run your air conditioner earlier in the day.
Myth: You Should Turn Off Your AC During the Day to Save Money
It’s common for people to turn their air conditioners off during the day when they’re at work because they don’t want to pay for a cool house that no one is around to enjoy. This is partially a smart idea, but it doesn’t really work in practice because it takes so much more energy to cool a very warm house down at the end of the day. It may even cost more because you have to expend so much energy for a long time when the house is really warm. In addition, you’re also likely spending that energy when the electricity costs are the highest, which is right around when most people are getting out of work and trying to cool their houses down and to cook meals, too. A better strategy is to keep the house at a temperature that’s a little higher than what you actually like it. For instance, if you like your house to be around 72 degrees, set it at around 77 degrees, but don’t let it get up to 80 or 90 degrees.
Myth: Electronics Don’t Put Out Any Heat
You might not be aware of how much energy your electronics and appliances put out, but when you start thinking about how hot a running clothes dryer will make a laundry room, you might begin to get the idea. The dishwasher is another item that can put out a lot of heat, and the oven and stovetop can heat up a kitchen pretty quickly, too. Avoid using these items during the hottest times of the day.
Myth: An Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner Is All You Need to Save Money
If you thought that having an energy-efficient air conditioner would always save you a lot of money on cooling costs, this is only part of the equation. You also need to have your air conditioner regularly maintained and repaired to get the most out of it.
If you’re looking for the best ways to save on your cooling bills and for an air conditioning company that will be available to help you with your heating and cooling repairs, maintenance, and installation, talk to us at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning in San Marcos, CA.