Whether it’s a local news anchor, your favorite home magazine or even your neighbor, as the temperatures continue to rise everyone seems to be an expert on staying cool and saving money. Unfortunately, popular air conditioning tips tend to become misconstrued and often misleading.
At Service Champions, we hear a lot of myths surrounding air conditioning and keeping your home cool for less. We’ve addressed 3 that we hear a lot and the realities behind them.
The Myth: Cranking the temperature on your thermostat way up when you leave the house will lower your air conditioning bills.
The Truth: This is a tip you’ve probably heard before – we hear it a lot. But actually, it’s only partially true. Yes, it’s better to raise the temperature on your thermostat rather than completely turning off your air conditioner when leaving the house, however, the key here is how long and by how much. The U.S. Department of Energy claims you’ll see the most savings when you set your thermostat back for at least 8 hours and for no more than 5 degrees. Half day shopping trips to the mall, or lunch out with a friend is not long enough to make a substantial difference in the amount of energy your A/C consumes – and adjusting more than 5 degrees causes the AC to spend too much time and energy recouping. If you typically set your thermostat at 78 degrees, then it is best to raise the temperature to 83 when stepping out for the day. Upon returning home, lower the temperature to 78 and the AC System only has to cool off the home by 5 degrees. To help you remember – and time – the setback temperatures, consider installing a programmable thermostat to do it for you.
The Myth: If you upgrade to a new energy-efficient air conditioner, you’ll drastically reduce your electric bills.
The Truth: Again, this is only partially true. While a new air conditioner that meets today’s energy efficiency standards is a step in the right direction, it’s only one piece to the puzzle. It’s important to purchase a unit sized correctly for your home, and that other elements of your HVAC system are considered – like your ductwork and airflow. Before moving to a new unit, contact a professional who can help you identify any energy weaknesses in your overall HVAC system that could affect your overall system performance.
The Myth: Keeping ceiling fans running will help you save on energy costs because your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool a room.
The Truth: Ceiling fans have no bearing on the overall temperature inside a room. They simply move air around which is what makes you feel cooler when you’re in a room with a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans are only helpful when they are running in an occupied room. If nobody is around, the ceiling fan isn’t doing any good and should be shut off – not to mention it’s consuming it’s own bit of energy when it’s left running.
Service Champions has a whole team of professionals trained and experienced in helping you save money while still staying cool. Do you have a question about your air conditioner? Ask one of our experts online!