Air Conditioning Myths

Refrigerant gets “used up”–One common misconception about refrigerant is that it works like gas in a car and over time it gets used up.  This is wrong.  In reality, your AC system should never need to be refilled with refrigerant.  Refrigerant flows through a closed loop of coils and doesn’t get used up because there’s no way for it to exit the system…unless there is a leak. 

You can save money by turning the AC off when you leave the home–Untrue.  When you come home to a hot house, the AC has to work much harder to cool the house down.

It’s cheaper to leave the thermostat at the same temperature all day, even when you are at work–Using a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature a few degrees higher while you are gone and then start cooling the house down shortly before you get home.  This allows your AC to work less while you are gone.

The AC won’t run as much if ceiling fans are kept on–False.  Ceiling fans do not cool the air.  They circulate the air.

Annual maintenance is a waste of money–Nothing can be further from the truth.  Routine maintenance will help prevent the need for repairs.  You could save many dollars in the long run by having routine maintenance performed on your AC.

Using an air conditioner will give you a cold–According to AARP, there is no evidence of this.  Colds are caused by a virus, not the temperature.

When purchasing a new AC, bigger is always better–An oversized AC could mean major trouble.  When an air conditioner is oversized, it cools down the space so fast that it short cycles.  The compressor will shut down, but turn back on to quickly and repeats this process over and over.  Short cycling doesn’t all the AC time to evenly distribute cooling and places extra strain on the compressor.  This will also cause you to use much more energy which will increase your utility bill.  The extra wear on the unit could also shorten its life span resulting in a possible early replacement of the entire system.

Free AC service offers–The truth is nothing is ever free.  An AC contractor cannot stay in business if they work for free.  When a service is offered as free, that loss is made up in the cost of a repair or another fee.  Typically, free offers are designed to give a contractor the opportunity to sell you extra repairs or services once they are in your home.


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