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Six Common Myths About Air Conditioners – Busted!

AC companies get many questions from consumers about how to save money and energy, and itís no secret that proper heat and air conditioning in your home can make or break your family’s comfort. To help our community make the best possible decisions about their HVAC systems, weíre busting six of the most common myths we hear!

Myth #1: Turning off your AC while youíre gone for the day saves significant energy and money 

Reality: If youíre planning to leave the house for a long period of time on a hot summerís day, turning the air conditioner off isnít the right way to save energyÖ or money for that matter. If you leave for work in the morning and shut your AC off all day, your home will heat quickly as the temperature rises outside. Later, when you get home in the afternoon and turn it on, your unit will have to work extra hard to cool your home down. Not only will you have to wait longer to reach your desired temperature, but your air conditioner will use a great deal of energy (at an expensive cost) to bring the entire house back to a comfortable level. A much better solution is to simply turn the thermostat up a few degrees when you leave in the morning. By doing this, the AC will still kick on during the day when the temperature rises to a certain point, but youíll spend far less in both energy and money bringing the temp back down those few degrees when you get home. 

Myth #2: Air filters need to be replaced yearly

Reality: Air filters do need to be replaced regularly, but once a year is too infrequent. Read the directions on your individual filter to see what the manufacturer recommends, but typically, you want to change them every 90 days. If you live in a household with one pet, the recommendation is usually to change your filter once every 60 days, and if you have two or more pets or household members with allergies, every 20-45 days is key to keeping your air clean and healthy. While that may sound like a lot, replacing your air filter regularly helps improve your HVAC systemís performance, keeps dust, allergens, and pet dander to a minimum, and also helps to efficiently filter out harmful chemicals and pollutants so you and your family do not breathe them in. 

Myth #3: Bigger is always better when it comes to AC units

Reality: While it would seem like common sense that larger air conditioner units would cool your home faster and better, and the same for larger furnaces for heat, this isn’t usually the case. What people often donít realize is that larger units are specifically designed for larger buildings, either homes or commercial facilities, and are not designed to be the most efficient option for regular-sized homes. When you utilize an AC unit that has a larger capacity than necessary, its compressor will be forced to turn on and off in succession all day long. These constant on-off intervals will exhaust the unit, shorten its lifespan, and waste a significant amount of energy in the meantime. Choosing an HVAC unit that is the right size for your home, or picking a mini-split package, will help you save energy, and costly repairs or early replacement. 

Myth #4: Closing vents in unused rooms saves energy and money

Reality: This one seems like common sense, yet again, things arenít what they seem when it comes to air vents! One would think that by closing the vents in unused rooms, an unoccupied guest room for example, energy would be saved and the rest of the house would receive the excess cold air not going to those rooms. However, standard HVAC systems were not designed for this, so when vents are closed, pressure builds up in the air ducts. This wreaks havoc on the air distribution throughout your home and actually makes your air conditioner work harder which once again, wastes money and energy, and does nothing to cool your home faster. If you have a large home and want to cool only part of it, a mini-split unit is a much better solution. 

Myth #5: AC tune-ups are a waste of money and time

Reality: Though nothing might be visibly wrong with your air conditioner system, it’s important to get an hvac inspection as the hot summer months approach. Getting a full overview of your system will ensure it is clean and uncontaminated, so that it is blowing fresh, healthy air into your home and properly filtering out allergens and harmful pollutants. This is especially true as wildfire season approaches so that smoke from wildfires does not enter your home and cause respiratory issues. Additionally, by cleaning AC ducts, making sure seals are fitting properly, and checking thermostats, technicians can catch any issues before they become a problem. Thereís nothing worse than waking up on a 100 degree day to no air conditioner and having to wait for an AC repairman to have time in his schedule to come to you. Fix any small issues before they become BIG ones by contacting us for air conditioner service, and youíll have a healthy system and peace of mind!

Myth #6: Air conditioners are the cause of your seasonal summer cold

Reality: Just like cold outdoor air doesnít cause people to get colds or flus, neither do cold temperatures indoors created by air conditioning units. Colds and flus are caused by bacteria and viruses, not by the temperature of the air, so keeping your home nice and cool will not cause you to get sick. As always, changing your air filters to reduce air-borne pathogens is important, and keeping both your home and HVAC system clean will reduce allergies and asthma-related breathing difficulties. 

Give us a call!

We pride ourselves on being your heating and air Sacramento specialists and serve a wide array of surrounding communities including the Sierra Nevada foothills. For the friendliest Sacramento hvac contractors and the most reliable HVAC company in the region, choose Maki Heating and Air. Call us today at (530) 885-3449 to set up an HVAC system inspection before the weather heats up!

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