Avoid Making These Summer Cooling Mistakes
Cutting down on cooling costs is on a lot of people’s minds during the summer, but there are some myths floating around. If you follow them, you might find out that your cooling costs are actually more expensive than they would be if you just learned more about how air conditioners work, what they can and can’t do and how you can make your home better prepared to keep the heat out.
A Larger Air Conditioner Isn’t a Good Idea
One of the biggest myths that some people think is true is that a larger air conditioner will solve all of their problems and make their homes cooler that much quicker. While it’s true that a larger air conditioner will cool off your house more quickly, it will also do so at a cost. Namely, the air in your house will remain humid because removing moisture from the air takes several cycles. When the air conditioner is so large that it cuts down on the cooling time, it also doesn’t have enough cycles to pull all of the moisture out of the air, which results in a cool but clammy feeling that most people don’t enjoy.
Appliances Can Heat Up a House
Another common misconception is that your appliances don’t put out enough heat to make any difference. When you think about the amount of heat that your television and computer put out, that might be true, but when you add in all the other appliances, it can start to add up. For instance, when you run your dishwasher, it puts out heat from the hot water. Similarly, when you use your clothes dryer, it’s going to put out a lot of heat, which can heat up a section of your house. If you’re going to run the dishwasher or dryer, just wait until the early morning hours when it’s cooler, or do it when you’re going to be gone for at least a few hours.
Avoid the Oven and Range on Hot Days
Similarly, the oven and range can create a lot of heat. The best plan for meals, then, is to cook outside on the grill if you want burgers, brats, fish, pork and many other foods that are great options both indoors and outdoors. Otherwise, you can make meals around foods that don’t need to be cooked. For instance, cold-cut sandwiches with a fruit salad are a great option for a summer evening dinner.
Ceiling Fans Can’t Replace an Air Conditioner
Some people think that they can get by just running the ceiling fan for a while if they don’t want to spend the money on air conditioning. Unfortunately, while you can circulate the air with a ceiling fan, it’s not going to provide the same cooling effects as an air conditioner. A fan works by helping the sweat on your body to evaporate more quickly, pulling the heat from your body with it. But a fan can’t pull heat or humidity out of the air. So, while a ceiling fan can help cool you down, it won’t be anything like the cooling effects that an air conditioner can bring.
Most Heat Transfer Isn’t Through Doors and Windows
One thing that most people definitely don’t know is where the greatest amount of heat transfer in their home occurs. The common myth is that greatest loss of cool air is around the windows and doors, but that isn’t so. While it’s worthwhile to make sure that you have weather stripping around the doors and windows, you’re letting in a lot more heat through the walls, electrical sockets and pipes. You just hear about the windows and doors the most because they’re the easiest to address. People who have a brick house know that there’s a lot less heat transfer. In fact, many homes in Europe don’t have air conditioning because the brick walls insulate the home, so they simply keep the windows closed during the day and open them at night to let in the cool night air. If you want to know more about where there are leaks in your home, you should have a professional come to your house and inspect the premises to find them.
Turning the Thermostat Way Down Won’t Cool Your House Any Faster
If you believe that turning the temperature on the thermostat way down will cool off the house faster, think again. This is another common belief that doesn’t do a bit of good if you’re trying to get your house to cool off quickly. Your air conditioner works at the same rate regardless of how hot the house is when you turn it on or how quickly you would like for it to cool off. Setting the thermostat at 65 degrees rather than 70 degrees only means that the air conditioner won’t shut off until it reaches that lower temperature. Meanwhile, it will still take the same amount of time to cool the house to 70 degrees. If you want your house to be a comfortable temperature whenever you’re home, a better tactic is to keep it at a reasonable temperature even if you’re going to be out for a few of hours. Don’t turn the AC off when you’re going to be away. Merely set it a few degrees higher. That will make it much quicker and easier for your air conditioner to get down to a comfortable temperature when you return.
Closing Vents Won’t Save on Energy
Some people believe that shutting doors and closing vents in rooms that you’re not using will help the house cool down more quickly and save you money on energy costs. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In fact, closing the vents actually stops the airflow around the house, making it harder for the air conditioner to push the cooled air through the space. Your HVAC system was designed for the entirety of your residence, so closing vents won’t help the air conditioner cool off the house any faster or save you money on your energy bills.
Air Conditioners Don’t Make Cool Air
If you’ve ever had a technician come out to your house to service your air conditioner and been confused by the process that an air conditioner goes through, you should learn more about what your air conditioner actually does. It’s tempting to think of an air conditioner as a box that manufactures cool air, but you’ll need to think about what cold is to understand more about how an air conditioner works. Cold is essentially the absence of heat. So, when your air conditioner runs, it takes the warm air inside your house, removes the heat and moisture from it and then returns that cooled and dehumidified air back to the inside of your house. Understanding this basic principle of how an air conditioner functions will help you better understand the repairs that your air conditioner occasionally needs.
When you’re considering ways to get the most out of your air conditioner and avoid costly cooling mistakes, remember these tips. Plus, talk to an experienced air conditioning technician at Hoff Heating & AC in O’Fallon to learn more and get great services, including heating and cooling repairs, installations and maintenance. We’re here to serve you, so call us today.