Is a bigger air conditioner better for energy savings? Do you really have to change your filters? When it comes to air conditioning questions, some misleading answers can end up costing you in the end. Here are 5 common air conditioning myths and the facts behind them.
It’s easy to see where this myth comes from, due to the fact that many homes are fitted with air conditioners that are too big for the size of the home, creating a warped perception of what a “normal” system should look like. The fact is an air conditioner that’s too large will cost more money to operate and have a shorter lifespan overall because it will work too hard to heat or cool your home. This places a large amount of stress on the crucial components of the system. The stress makes the components more likely to fail, which in turn leads to frequent and potentially costly repairs. Additionally, you’ll deal with inferior performance overall as systems that are too large are more likely to short cycle.
Air conditioning systems are sized according to their tonnage. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs (British thermal units). Residential systems usually range from one to five tons, or 12,000 to 60,000 BTUs. Any professional HVAC installer should know how to measure your home to obtain the correct size of equipment. This is the only way to make sure the size of the system you purchase will be large enough to cool your home, but not any larger than you need.
The purpose of your air conditioner is not only to heat or cool your home, but to remove humidity as well. A system that’s too large and poorly fitted to the size of your home will likely run in short cycles, which don’t allow the system enough time to dehumidify the air. In dry climates like Arizona, this may not seem like a big deal, however, during the crucial annual monsoon season you may find yourself in a muggy and humid home. If you suspect that your air conditioner is too big for your home, the experts at Chas Roberts can examine your system and offer a free estimate if a properly-sized replacement is necessary.
Your filters are your home’s first line of defense against all the dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can circulate throughout your air conditioner. Because of this, it’s important to change your filters much more often than once a year. Dirty filters can constrict the amount of air that flows through the system, causing the system to work harder—which can lead to a possible breakdown. Dirty filters can also have an overall negative effect on the air quality in your home.
Ideally, you should clean or replace your filters every six weeks. If anyone in your home has asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, you should change your filters monthly. This also holds true if you have pets, as their hair and dander can contribute to your filters getting dirty faster.
Just as you schedule routine maintenance for your car, and annual checkups for you and your family, your air conditioner needs an annual tune-up as well. While it may be tempting to skip a routine maintenance appointment to save some money, this decision can have negative financial impacts in the long run. This is due to the fact that routine maintenance gives a technician the opportunity to spot and fix small problems before they become more serious, and more expensive. At Chas Roberts, our comprehensive 26-point maintenance plan is unmatched in the industry, and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to identifying potential problems in your air conditioner.
Additionally, many HVAC warranties require annual maintenance as one of their terms for coverage. If you choose not to have your air conditioner maintained, you could end up voiding your warranty, leaving you without coverage in the event of a large repair or costly breakdown.
This myth makes sense in theory—if you’re not using a room in your home, why not close the vents so you won’t have to pay for heating or cooling an empty room? However, closing vents can actually cost you more money in the long run by damaging vital components of your air conditioner. Even if your vents are closed, air is still circulating through your ducts. This increase in pressure can damage your ductwork and damage your blower fan by causing it to overwork. Bottom line, it’s best to leave all of the vents in your home open so that air can circulate throughout your home properly.
If you’ve been holding out on replacing your air conditioner, it’s time to see how technology has changed. When it comes to comparing older and newer air conditioners, the differences are clear. Newer systems are exceptionally energy-efficient, allowing you to save on your monthly energy bills. Newer systems are also generally quieter, easier to operate, and less prone to breakdowns. Additionally, older systems may use defunct parts or equipment, such as R-22 refrigerant, which can make repairs costly. Rather than continuing to pay for a system that’s past its prime, replacing the system altogether is a better investment overall.
When air conditioning myths have you looking for the truth, look no further than Chas Roberts. With over 75 years of experience, we give our customers nothing but facts and superior service. Contact us for HVAC repairs, replacements, maintenance, and installations.