Debunking Common Home Cooling Myths

Excerpt: Do you know the truth about home heating and cooling? This article debunks a few of the most common home cooling myths to help you understand the facts behind efficient home temperature control.

Throughout the years, there are many home cooling myths that have become common knowledge. However, adhering to these myths—even mistakenly—can cost you in terms of HVAC efficiency and home comfort, often requiring you to call for heating and cooling repairs more often and even increasing the chances that you will need to replace your HVAC system prematurely. Learning the truth about these common home cooling myths will provide you with the knowledge you need to get the most from your HVAC system throughout the cooling season.

Myth: Home Air Leaks Are Always Visible

While it is true that some of the largest and most widespread air leaks consist of visible damage or spaces around windows and doors, many home air leaks that reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system are hidden. Air leaks may exist in areas such as your chimney, the interiors of your walls, and in the areas that separate your attic and basement from the rest of your home. While sealing air leaks around windows and doors will certainly improve your home’s indoor comfort, it’s also important to identify and address hidden air leaks to truly get the most from your air conditioning.

Myth: Closing Air Registers Lowers Your Cooling Costs

All the air registers in your home are equipped with levers that allow you to close off airflow to divert cooled air to other areas of your home. Closing these air registers in unused areas of your home will prevent your air conditioner from cooling these spaces, but closing too many air registers at once can have a negative effect on HVAC efficiency. Closing more than 20% of your home’s vents can increase the strain placed on your air conditioner by changing the configuration of your HVAC ducts, which were designed with heating and cooling efficiency in mind. In the end, closing too many vents will make your air conditioner work harder and create a pressure differential in your home that can affect the indoor temperature throughout your living space, rather than only in the rooms you have closed off.

Myth: Installing an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner Guarantees Lower Cooling Bills

Energy-efficient HVAC appliances are designed to deliver more efficient heating and cooling while using less energy to create a comfortable indoor environment. Installing an energy-efficient air conditioner is certainly a positive step toward greater energy savings and lower cooling bills; however, there are several factors that will affect the efficiency of your air conditioning. First, it’s essential to have your air conditioner installed by an experienced HVAC professional, as improper installation is one of the largest factors that affects overall HVAC efficiency. Even a high-efficiency air conditioner may not deliver energy savings if it is not properly installed. Second, it’s important to ensure your air conditioner is the right size for your home. Air conditioners are available with varying capacity options; selecting an appliance that is too large or too small for your home will affect its cooling abilities as well as its energy consumption. Finally, the way in which you use your air conditioner will also affect the amount of energy it consumes. Smart cooling practices are the best way to get the most from your new air conditioner.

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