Myths about saving energy are passed around by well-meaning friends and family every time you mention your summertime electric bill. But, don’t assume they’re true without doing your research. Some of the cooling myths thought of as “common knowledge” will increase, not decrease, your energy bill.
The top four cooling myths are:
Closing A/C vents in unused rooms will save money.
Unless you have a very old home with an equally old HVAC system, this myth won’t save you money—and it can damage your A/C. Your modern, efficient A/C is balanced. That means it’s set-up to provide a certain amount of air to each room in your home. Closing the vents will only make it work harder. If you have unused areas in your home, consider installing a zoned cooling system.
Leave the A/C off when you go to work.
When you keep the A/C off all day, it has to work incredibly hard to re-cool your house when you turn it on—much harder than if you left it running during the day. This causes wear and tear on your unit and higher energy costs. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you’ll see savings by raising the temperature around ten degrees before you leave. Just don’t turn it all the way off.
Ceiling fans keep rooms cooler.
Ceiling fans keep your body cooler, not the room. When you leave, turn fans off just the same way you turn your lights off.
Your home will cool faster by setting the thermostat lower.
This is another myth that will overwork your expensive HVAC equipment. Unless you have a variable speed system, set the thermostat at the temperature you want, not lower. It won’t cool any faster because the fan inside the unit works at a constant rate.
As you can see, these cooling myths won’t actually save you any money. There are real ways to save money on your A/C bill this summer. Keep your blinds closed, seal up air leaks and plant sun-blocking trees.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about cooling myths and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.