Common Misconceptions about Summer Cooling

Cooling misconceptions can be very persistent. Certain myths about HVAC components have been making the rounds for decades. While many sound reasonable, they can actually cost you money in higher AC costs, compromise indoor comfort, and put extra wear and tear on your air conditioning system. Here are a few examples of cooling misconceptions that ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

Extra-low thermostat settings cool the house extra fast.

An air conditioner extracts heat from the air at the same fixed amount according to its BTU capacity, no matter how low the thermostat is set. You can’t make it hurry up by pushing the thermostat extremely low. If the house is often uncomfortably hot when you come home, use a programmable thermostat to start the cooling process before your normal arrival time.

Closing vents in some rooms lowers AC costs.

Like most cooling misconceptions, it’s not that simple. Balanced airflow volume through system ductwork is calculated with all vents open. Closing some vents means that pressure increases within the duct system, making the air conditioner run longer cycles and consume more energy to meet thermostat settings. Unbalanced airflow also makes some rooms overly cool and others too warm.

Air conditioners manufacture coolness.

Actually, an air conditioner primarily moves heat. Coolness is the the natural byproduct when heat energy is removed from a space. As BTUs of heat are extracted by the air conditioner’s indoor evaporator coil and dispersed by the condenser coil outside, what’s left behind inside the house is just cool comfort.

The bigger the air conditioner, the better.

Of all cooling misconceptions, this one just won’t go away. Installing an AC with improperly large BTU capacity means the unit turns on and off again very rapidly (known as short cycling). Cooling is inconsistent, with overly cool and overly hot spots in the house. Energy efficiency plummets and wear and tear on the air conditioner escalates.

For the straight story on cooling misconceptions, contact the experts at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating.

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