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Debunking Air Conditioning Myths

The Truth about Air Conditioners and Home Comfort

Myth: Fans keep a room cooler.

Fans move air in a room, creating a wind-chill effect, but do not affect the air temperature. When the wind from a fan hits your warm skin, heat transfers from your body to the air. Fans also help sweat evaporates at a faster rate, making you feel cooler.

Using a fan and the A/C at the same time won’t lower a room’s temperature. However, the fan’s air blowing on your skin might make you feel cooler, making it a good solution when you want to cool down without lowering the thermostat.

Myth: Air conditioners only cool the air.

Air conditioners condition the air. This means that it cools the air and removed excess humidity at the same time. Some A/C units have a dehumidification function that’s great for muggy days.

Myth: Upgrading to a bigger air conditioner provides better results.

A big air conditioner is like a car with a big engine. An A/C that’s the correct size for your home is like a car with good fuel economy. Both cars will get you from point A to point B, but the car with the bigger uses more gas.

A/C units are designed to condition and move air throughout a home at a specific rate. When you use an A/C that’s too big for your home, even one with the highest efficiency rating, the unit will not know that the space is smaller. Instead, it will condition and move air as if you had a bigger home, consuming more energy to produce the same results as a unit that’s the proper size.

Myth: Lowering the thermostat’s temperature drastically cools the house faster.

Air conditioners operate at a consistent rate to reach the temperature that you set. Lowering the thermostat to a frigid temperature won’t cool your house faster; it will just cool at the same rate and waste energy.


Myth: Turning off the A/C when I’m not home saves energy.

This is only true if you plan to leave it off for an extended period. When you turn off the A/C before going to work on a hot summer day, and turn it back on when you return, it has to work harder to cool your home.

A better way to save energy is to set the thermostat to a temperature that’s about 10°F warmer than the temperature at which you feel most comfortable. Programmable thermostats make this simple by allowing you to indicate the time you go to work and your anticipated return time. The thermostat automatically raises the temperature when you leave and lowers it just before you get home, so you feel comfortable the moment you walk through the door and save energy.

Myth: Air filters don’t matter.

The air filter is like a sieve, it lets air through while trapping dirt, dust and other particles. When an A/C unit has a clean air filter, it draws in air effortlessly. As the filter accumulates debris, the unit works harder to draw in clean air and keep your house cool. Changing the filter as often as the manufacturer recommends reduces wasted energy by up to 10 percent.

Myth: The A/C only needs an HVAC professional’s attention when something is wrong.

An A/C needs a Portland air conditioning professional’s attention at least once a year for maintenance. Servicing the unit keeps it in optimal condition and maintains its efficiency. You’ll also learn about problem when they are simpler and more affordable to repair. An air conditioner is as big investment in your home. Keeping it in good shape prevents expensive losses and keeps energy costs lower.

Summer cooling bills are no joke. Taking care of your air conditioner and programming it so it maximizes your comfort and energy savings will make the warm months more enjoyable. To learn more about how to get the most out of your A/C unit or schedule maintenance, get in touch with AAA Heating & Cooling. You’ll be glad that you did when the temperatures soar.

Photo by Schezar via CC License