We run across many misunderstandings about air conditioning systems in our work. Some are harmless, but others can lead to homeowners developing bad habits using their ACs. We’re your local experts in all things air conditioning in Bossier City, LA and we’d like you to avoid mistakes with your AC, so we’ve listed several common misconceptions that can lead to trouble.
Air conditioners create cooling
You do receive cool air from an AC, but that’s not because the air conditioner “created” cooling. Cooling isn’t a form of energy, but the absence of thermal energy. For an air conditioner to lower the temperature of the air, it must remove heat from it. This heat needs to go somewhere, and an AC is designed to exhaust the heat to the outside through the condenser.
The refrigerant in an AC needs to be “topped-off” or refilled occasionally
If you hear a “technician” tell you something like this, go to another technician! Refrigerant isn’t a source of fuel for the air conditioner and isn’t used up when the AC runs. Unless an air conditioner has a refrigerant leak, the amount of refrigerant in it will remain at the same level (known as the AC’s charge) for the entire life of the system.
A lower thermostat setting makes the AC cool the house quicker
A thermostat isn’t a throttle but a switch. When you lower the thermostat, it doesn’t make the air conditioner work faster or provide larger amounts of cooled air. All it does is make the air conditioner run for longer. It’s better to keep the thermostat at a steady setting, the comfort setting you want, rather than to lower it to a temperature you won’t find comfortable.
Air conditioners control humidity
Although an AC has a small effect on humidity, it isn’t a dehumidifier. As an air conditioner runs, it extracts some moisture from the air as it absorbs heat along its evaporator coil. This isn’t enough to reduce high humidity levels on muggy days. For better humidity control, you’ll need to add on a dehumidifier or install an air conditioner with special humidity controls built into it.
Shutting the AC off while you’re on vacation will save money
This certainly sounds like it’s true. However, if you leave the air conditioner fully shut down during the summer while you go on a trip for a week or more, you’ll come back to an overheated house. It takes far more energy to cool down a roasting house than to keep the AC running at a warmer setting while you’re gone. Set the thermostat to 88°F for when you’re away and you’ll end up saving money.
You should get the biggest central AC you can afford
An air conditioning system needs to be properly sized for a home. It can’t be too small or it won’t be able to cool the house effectively. But it can’t be too large either. An oversized AC will short-cycle, turning on and off rapidly and wasting money because it’s lowering the indoor temperature too fast. Trust professionals to accurately size your new air conditioner to find the happy middle ground.
Moon’s Air has provided whole-home comfort since 1971. Call us for service today—it’s good to be Mooned!