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5 Air Conditioning Myths That Cost You

5 Air Conditioning Myths That Cost You

Keeping your home cool during the high, humid heat of a Florida summer isn’t exactly cheap. It’s understandable then that many homeowners look for ways to curb cooling costs. However, there is some bad information out there and some of your efforts will do the exact opposite. Here are five AC myths that will do more harm than good.

Closing Vents to Unoccupied Rooms Saves Energy

You’ve never heard your dad shout “Close the vent when you leave the room!” That’s because he understood that the AC system isn’t like a light bulb. Closing the vent to an unoccupied room isn’t going to save you money.

A closed vent only cuts airflow to that particular space, redirecting the air elsewhere. Also, the added pressure makes leaks in the ductwork more likely to occur. Aside from hurting your AC’s ability to efficiently cool, closing vents can strain the unit’s blower.

Your AC Runs Out of Coolant

No, your AC unit doesn’t need an annual recharge. It doesn’t burn through coolant the way a vehicle uses up fuel. The refrigerant in your central air system circulates through a closed loop. If your AC system is low on coolant, there’s a leak. And the leak needs to be fixed, pronto!

Only after the leak has been found and repaired should the technician top off your system with refrigerant.

Turn Down the Temperature to Cool Your Home Faster

When returning to a hot home, you’re tempted to crank up the AC to cool it down quickly. However, adjusting the thermostat below its usual setpoint won’t cool your home any faster. You’ll simply cause your AC unit to consume more energy.

Aside from increasing cooling costs, this also puts greater wear and tear on the unit.

Programming your thermostat around your typical work week is a far wiser approach. Set the thermostat to operate between 82 and 85 degrees while you’re away at work. Then set it to change to a lower temperature shortly before you arrive home.

Used correctly, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 a year on heating and cooling costs.

Turn Off AC While You’re Away

Big, big, BIG mistake! We’re all Floridians. We should know better.

Your AC does more than cool your home; it plays a big role in dehumidifying your home, as well. Turning off your AC for extended periods will lead to an extremely muggy environment in which mold breeds rampant. That’s bad.

Keep your AC running at a higher temperature while you’re away. Around 82 degrees is good enough to prevent excess humidity in your home. Also, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. With this device, you can control your thermostat remotely via your smartphone. You’ll thank yourself when you return to a home that isn’t stifling.

You Can Skip HVAC Maintenance

Some people tend to put off HVAC maintenance. Although your unit may be performing well, neglecting routine servicing will eventually lead to trouble.

By scheduling an annual HVAC service, you can reduce repair costs and prolong the life of your unit -- not to mention keeping your warranty valid. Some of the most important services include inspecting for leaks, cleaning the evaporator coils, and clearing the condensate drain. An annual tune-up will definitely help conserve energy. A dirty, worn-out AC can’t deliver an efficient performance.

Bottom line: The best thing you can do with your AC is to set it and forget it. That means setting your thermostat to a cost-effective temperature and leaving it alone. We recommend 78 degrees. That’s what the U.S. Department of Energy determined is the best temperature for both cost and comfort. For all of your cooling needs this summer, rely on Fairway Heating & Cooling LLC. To schedule your appointment, call (813) 519-6620.

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