It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the heat is on in Kansas City. After all, we just had the second-hottest May on record, and we are well on our way to a potentially record-breaking summer in terms of high temperatures. All of us are relying on our air conditioners to keep us cool this summer, but running the air conditioner all day isn't always enough, especially if we also want to keep energy bills low. That's why many of us are also turning to running ceiling fans or portable fans, closing the blinds and curtains during the day, and following any other tips we can think of to keep our houses cool without overtaxing our Olathe heating and cooling systems.
In desperation, we may even turn to the internet for new ideas on how to keep ourselves cool while also saving energy and money this summer. Unfortunately, while there are some great energy-saving ideas online, there are also a lot of myths out there. Here are the top ten myths about keeping cool that we found online, along with the real facts behind them:
MYTH: If you want the house to cool faster, just turn your thermostat way down.
Unfortunately, that's not usually how it works. While there are some air conditioners on the market that incorporate variable speed air handlers that can adjust fan speed to match your thermostat's setting, that doesn't work for most air conditioners. Usually the fan only goes so fast, which means that your air conditioner can only cool the house at a certain speed, no matter how low you crank the thermostat.
MYTH: Closing vents can boost efficiency.
This is an incredibly common myth, but the fact is that most Olathe heating and cooling systems are designed to distribute air evenly throughout your entire house. What this means is that if you close vents in certain areas, the system doesn't know that those vents are closed and continues trying to cool that space, even though air can't reach it. This can also overwork your HVAC system's compressor.
MYTH: Ceiling fans help keep rooms cool during the summer.
This is more of a half-truth than a myth. Sure, ceiling fans help to circulate air, but their biggest benefit on a hot summer day is that they create a breeze that helps you feel cooler only if you're sitting under them. If you're not in the room, they probably aren't doing any good. In fact, they're just using up energy that you could save for your air conditioner.
MYTH: When it comes to your cooling system, bigger is better.
The fact is that the perfect air conditioner is the one that's the right size for the area that you're trying to cool. Get a system that isn't big enough, and it will have to work too hard to cool your home. Get one that's too big, and it won't cool evenly and may produce too much humidity.
MYTH: Your biggest energy loss comes from windows and doors.
Nope, sorry. While it's true that leaks are one of the most significant sources of energy loss in the home, the majority of leaks are "invisible," often located around pipes, ductwork, chimneys, and other places you might not think to look. A certified Olathe heating and cooling specialist can often help you identify problem areas and tell you how to get them fixed.
MYTH: Appliances and electronics don't produce enough heat to matter.
Most appliances and electronic devices give off at least a little bit of heat when they're in use, and that heat can add up, especially when it comes to major appliances such as clothes dryers, dishwashers, ovens, etc. But even the TV or your computer can have an effect on your energy bill, especially if you're using them during the hottest part of the day. When possible, run appliances during the early morning or late evening, and keep things turned off when you're not using them.
MYTH: It doesn't matter when you use your electricity because it all costs the same.
The energy company that sells you your electricity gets it from somewhere, and the prices they pay for it vary depending on how much they buy. It costs more to buy electricity during peak hours, especially during the evening after everyone has gotten home from work.
MYTH: It's a good idea to turn off the AC when you're not at home.
Again, this is partially true. If you're not going to be home all day, it's a waste for the air conditioner to keep your house as cool you would want it if you were there the whole time. But if you turn off your air conditioner while you're gone and then turn it back on when you get home, you'll waste a lot of energy bringing a hot house back down to a comfortable temperature. What's the best solution? Invest in a programmable thermostat, which can learn your habits and behaviors. It will keep the house set to an appropriate temperature throughout the day while also maximizing efficiency.
MYTH: Energy efficiency is basically the same thing as energy conservation.
Not necessarily. Being energy efficient simply means using less energy to get the same job done, while energy conservation means lowering the amount of energy you use, period. Turning off your air conditioner entirely would be energy conservation, for sure, but it wouldn't get the job of keeping your house cool done very well at all.
MYTH: Investing in an energy-efficient AC will reduce my energy bill.
Not all by itself, it won't. The very best tools are only good if you take good care of them. The highest-rated air conditioner will still cost you more money to run if it is improperly installed, serviced, and maintained. That's where having an Olathe heating and cooling expert on your side comes in!
At Davenport Service Company, we've been helping to keep Olathe heating and cooling systems in great shape for more than thirty years. Our VIP service plans take the guesswork out of caring for your air conditioner and help you make sure that you're getting the most bang for your cooling buck. Call us today at 913-441-2222 for air conditioner service, repair, replacement, or whatever else you may need to stay cool this summer!