Many homeowners think the only way to cool their home more efficiently is to upgrade to a larger central air conditioner. However, the way that you use your air conditioner can have just as much to do with your home's cooling efficiency as the type of air conditioner you have. Here are four myths about air conditioning that can help you lower your monthly cooling bill.
Myth 1: Lowering the Thermostat Cools You Home Faster
When you come home to a muggy house after a long day at work, it can be tempting to set the thermostat as low as possible. This is not a good idea if you are trying to be energy-conscious about cooling your home. This is because your air conditioner will cool your house at the same rate no matter what temperature the thermostat is set on.
The temperature setting of your thermostat is simply the target temperature that your air conditioner is trying to reach. If you set your thermostat too low, it will waste energy by causing your air conditioner to turn off and on more often. Simply setting your thermostat to the desired temperature is the most economical way to run your air conditioner.
Myth 2: Closing Vent Registers Cools More Efficiently
Common sense would dictate that cooling fewer rooms would use less energy. If you have a central air conditioner, this is not a viable strategy to reduce energy spending. Central air conditioners are designed to cool your entire home evenly. When all of your vent registers are open, the pressure load of your air conditioner is balanced throughout your home.
When you close off one or more of your vent registers, your air conditioner is still trying to deliver the same amount of air. Closed vent registers block the airflow in your ductwork and force your air conditioner to work harder. This uses more energy than running the air conditioner with all vents open, and can even shorten the lifespan of your system by putting more strain on the blower motor and other internal components.
Myth 3: Leaving Fans Running Keeps a Room Cool
It may seem like you are saving energy if you leave fans running to cool your home instead of your air conditioner. Fans cool you by circulating the air in a room to move hot air away from your body. Unfortunately, this means that running a fan in an empty room is a waste of energy because fans do not reduce the overall temperature of the room.
Myth 4: Upgrading to a Larger Air Conditioner is More Efficient
It is true that a larger air conditioner will cool a home more quickly than a smaller air conditioner. However, this does not always mean that a larger air conditioner will be more efficient for your home. If your air conditioner is too large for your home, it will turn on and off more frequently and use more energy.
The traditional method for calculating the proper air conditioner size for a home is a simple equation using the home's square footage. Modern air conditioners are now sized with considerations for your home's climate zone, insulation type and amount, square footage of windows and doors, and other factors. The best way to make sure you are getting the right central air conditioner for your home is to let an air conditioning service size it for you.
Changing a few simple home cooling habits is an easy and free way to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. Use these tips so you can start saving money on your monthly energy bill today.