Reducing your cooling costs during our hot and muggy northwest Arkansas summer sounds like a dream come true to most homeowners. However, there are many myths surrounding cooling that can cause you to spend more than necessary on energy. Here are five of the most common cooling myths and why you shouldn’t follow them:
- To cool the house faster, turn the thermostat way down. Most A/Cs and heat pumps have one airflow speed. This means that your cooling system can only produce so much cold air at once. Turning the thermostat down past your ideal target won’t cool your home down any faster, but you will waste energy when you overshoot your target.
- Keep the A/C turned off if you go out for the day. This myth isn’t always wrong but is bad general advice. If you leave for the day in mid-July, your home likely will get very hot. A hot home takes a lot of cooling, and therefore energy and time to cool down. At the same time, it doesn’t make sense to keep your home completely cooled when you’re gone for eight hours or so. The solution is a programmable thermostat that keeps your home about eight to 10 degrees warmer than normal during the day and then returns to your comfort level before you’re due to arrive home.
- Keep ceiling fans on to reduce cooling load. Ceiling fans are great, but they only work when you’re occupying the room. They don’t cool the air; they make YOU feel cooler. When you leave the room, turn off the fan.
- Close vents in rarely used rooms. In an ideal world, your HVAC system would redirect cool air to other parts of your home, but most forced-air duct systems don’t do this. Instead, closing one or more vents increases the pressure inside your ducts, potentially damaging the ducts, and forces your A/C to short cycle and have issues with balanced airflow.
- You have to rely on A/C. A/C is the most convenient way to stay cool but people lived for a long time without it. Use fans, ice and cold drinks to reduce how much you rely on your A/C. When nights are cool, open the windows to gain benefit from natural cooling, then close up the house and turn on the A/C before it starts getting hot the next day.
Contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal to learn how to save energy and avoid cooling myths this summer in your northwest Arkansas home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas 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.
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