Air Conditioning Mythbusting: 10 Myths About AC Homeowners Should Stop Believing

AC Installations

Lee’s Summit Heating & Cooling works on all major air conditioner brands, so we’ve encountered more than our fair share of myths about how they work. Find out how much of what you’ve heard about air conditioning is true and how much is a myth.

Posted by Payton | June 15, 2023 | Reading Time:

Air conditioning is common technology, but you’d be surprised how many people still buy into myths and misconceptions about it. In fact, you might even believe one or two things yourself that aren’t strictly true about the way your AC operates—and that could be costing you money every month on your cooling bills!

But don’t worry; we’re here to help. As HVAC experts who have performed air conditioner repairs, installations, and routine maintenance in Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs for years, our professionals know all about how to distinguish the facts about AC from the fiction, and we’ve debunked 10 of the biggest myths below to help you make more informed choices about the way you take care of your cooling equipment.

Large American Standard air conditioner outdoor unitMyth 1: Bigger AC Units Cool Your Home Faster & More Efficiently

Reality: Properly sized units provide optimal cooling and energy efficiency.

It’s a common misconception that bigger air conditioning units are more efficient. In reality, an oversized unit can lead to short cycling, which wastes energy and can cause uneven cooling. A properly sized AC unit is crucial for optimal cooling and energy efficiency.

Only a professional HVAC technician has the skills and knowledge to size an air conditioner correctly. When you have us perform your new AC installation, we’ll use the Manual J load calculation to determine the correct size for your home.

Myth 2: Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Saves Energy

Reality: It can disrupt airflow, strain your HVAC system, and increase energy bills.

Closing vents in unused rooms might seem like a smart way to save energy, but it can actually do more harm than good. Blocking vents can cause pressure imbalances in your HVAC system, which forces the system to work harder and can increase your energy bills. It’s best to keep vents open for proper airflow and system efficiency.

Myth 3: Lowering the Thermostat Drastically Cools Your Home Faster

Reality: AC systems work at a consistent pace, and extreme thermostat adjustments waste energy.

Air conditioning systems are designed to cool your home at a consistent rate. Lowering the thermostat to an extreme temperature will not make your home cool faster, but it can cause the system to run longer than necessary, wasting energy and increasing your utility bills.

American Standard air conditioner on white background
Myth 4: Air Conditioning Is Only for Cooling

Reality: Modern AC systems can also improve air quality and humidity control in your home.

While cooling is the primary function of air conditioning, many modern systems also help to improve indoor air quality and control humidity levels. Many units are equipped with built-in air filters and humidifiers that work to remove pollutants from the air and create optimal moisture levels, resulting in a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

It’s also possible to add an air purifier or humidifier to your existing HVAC system. Ask us about our indoor air quality solutions.

Myth 5: Regular Maintenance Isn’t Necessary

Reality: Routine tune-ups extend your system’s lifespan, prevent costly repairs, and maintain energy efficiency.

Neglecting regular maintenance for your air conditioning system can lead to decreased efficiency, higher energy bills, and a shortened system lifespan. Annual AC tune-ups help to identify and address potential issues before they become costly problems, and keep your system running at peak efficiency.

Myth 6: Ceiling Fans Help Cool Rooms When You’re Not Home

Reality: Fans only create a cooling effect for people; turn them off when no one is in the room to save energy.

Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler, but they don’t actually lower the temperature in a room. Running fans in empty rooms is a waste of energy, so it’s best to turn them off when you’re not home.

Dirty HVAC filter that needs to be replaced
Myth 7: You Don’t Need to Change Air Filters Often

Reality: Regularly changing filters (every 1-3 months) is crucial for maintaining airflow, system efficiency, and indoor air quality.

Dirty air filters restrict airflow and force your HVAC system to work harder, leading to higher energy bills and potential breakdowns. Regularly changing your air filters (every 1-3 months, depending on usage) helps maintain proper airflow, system efficiency, and good indoor air quality.

Myth 8: Cranking Up the AC Is the Best Way to Combat Humidity

Reality: Overcooling doesn’t always reduce humidity; consider using a dehumidifier for optimal comfort.

While air conditioning can help remove some humidity, overcooling your home in an attempt to combat humidity can be inefficient and uncomfortable. If humidity is a persistent issue, consider using an air humidifier to maintain optimal comfort levels (these systems can also dehumidify the air when there’s too much moisture present).

Myth 9: Keeping Your AC on All Day Is Cheaper than Turning It On & Off

Reality: Using a programmable thermostat to manage temperature settings while you’re away is the best way to save energy and reduce costs.

Leaving your AC on all day, even when you’re not home, can consume more energy and increase your utility bills. Instead, consider using a programmable smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature settings while you’re away, allowing the system to use less energy during those periods. This can help save energy and reduce costs without sacrificing comfort when you return home. Our team can recommend several options from leading smart thermostat brands.

AC tech performing professional maintenance on air conditioner outdoor unitMyth 10: DIY Maintenance Is Enough for Your AC System

Reality: While some tasks can be done yourself, professional maintenance ensures your system operates safely and efficiently, and detects potential issues early.

While there are some basic maintenance tasks you can perform on your own, such as changing air filters and cleaning outdoor units, professional maintenance is essential for the overall health of your AC system.

Our HVAC professionals have the knowledge and tools to thoroughly inspect your system, identify potential issues, and ensure it operates safely and efficiently. Contact Lee’s Summit Heating & Cooling to have an experienced technician check your system and make sure it’s ready to keep you cool this summer.

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