We’re well into the heat of summer here in New Jersey, and for many of us, this translates to anxiety about high energy bills. Keeping costs down can be a challenge when trying to cool your home, but it’s not something to lose sleep over. It helps to build a better understanding of what’s true about home cooling and what’s nothing more than a myth, as not everything you may have heard over the years is necessarily true.
Myth #1: Fans Should Always Be Left On
It’s commonly assumed that fans help to cool rooms down, which is why some people choose to leave them running throughout the day and night. The fact is, fans only give off the illusion of a cooler room, whereas all they actually do is move air around. As the fan pushes air around the room, it wicks moisture off skin, creating a cooler feeling but not actually lowering the temperature. If you aren’t in the room while the fan is running, you’ll essentially be wasting energy. Note, however, that fans can help to draw cool air in from outside if placed in or near your windows, which can be an effective way to circulate fresh air throughout the home — however, this is more effective in the spring or fall months.
Myth #2: You Should Upgrade to a Bigger AC
If your AC hasn’t quite been giving you the results you’ve been looking for lately, you may think that the solution can be found in an upgrade. However, it may not be the size of your AC that’s standing in the way — the problem could be a result of many different factors. A lack of insulation or improper air sealing, for example, can cause even the best air conditioners to underperform. AC maintenance also plays a key role in how well the system is able to perform, so be sure to consider getting your air conditioner serviced before replacing it outright.
Myth #3: Dropping the Temperature Quickly Cools the Home Faster
This is a knee-jerk reaction that many people find themselves falling prey to. You just got home, and it’s hot and stuffy all throughout the house. It may seem like dropping the temperature on your thermostat by 10 or 20 degrees is the fastest route to a cooler home, but this isn’t how your AC is really supposed to operate. Air conditioners work at a constant pace, so unless you have a window unit that offers multiple settings (low, medium, high), keeping your thermostat steady will be the best course of action.
Myth #4: An AC Should be Left to Operate All Day Long
When you’re trying to keep your home comfortable, it’s tempting to leave the AC on day and night. The thing is, this will almost always result in excessive energy use as compared to triggering the AC to operate only while you’re home, which is where a programmable thermostat comes in. Unless temperatures outside have skyrocketed, programmed temperature shifts throughout the day can actually be very effective at keeping costs down.