7 Air Conditioning Myths You Need to Know About

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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When the hot summer months come round, we'd wager to say you heavily rely on your air conditioner for cooling your home. Despite many of us having air conditioners in our homes for decades now, there are a number of air conditioning myths that still prevail.

We're here to break down 7 common air conditioning myths and set the story straight for your home's cooling.

Myth 1: Bigger is Always Better

A bigger air conditioner means more powerful and efficient cooling, right? Wrong! While a bigger air conditioner is certainly more powerful, a big AC unit in a small room can actually short cycle and cost you more.

Short cycling is where your air conditioner cools a room too quickly but hasn't had time to properly dehumidify it. Your air conditioner will have to work harder and use more energy to dehumidify the room. In the meantime, you'll be sitting in an uncomfortably cool but humid room.

An appropriately sized air conditioning unit will need to account for your room's size, insulation, location, orientation and more!

Myth 2: It’s More Cost-Effective to Run Your Air Con Continuously

This myth comes from the idea that it takes more power to turn your air conditioner on than it does to have it continuously running. This simply isn't true - in fact you'll save energy not having your air conditioner on than having it continuously on.

The trick to making the most of your air con is to effectively insulate your home. This means keeping the windows and blinds shut during the hottest part of the day or when you're away from home.

Using ceiling fans can also help to improve the efficiency of your air con. Ceiling fans move air so that warm air is drawn up and there is a wind-chill effect on you. This makes the temperature feel cooler, even if the thermostat is set a little higher.

You could even use a programmable thermostat to turn on at particular times of the day before you get home so your home is nice and cool by the time you get home!

Myth 3: Air Conditioners Make You Sick

Whether you have a ducted air con or split system air conditioning, somewhere in your system is an air filter. When kept in good condition, this air filter removes airborne contaminants like dust and bacteria that can make you sick.

If these contaminants build up in your unit's filters and vents, you will eventually start breathing it in and this could make you sick. This is why regularly cleaning your air filters is important.

According to the Department of Energy, a clean air con filter can lower its energy consumption 5-15% too!

Myth 4: Lowering Your Air Con’s Temperature Will Cool Your Home Faster

Setting the thermostat lower than your ideal temperature will not cool your home faster. No matter what temperature you set the thermostat, your air con will cool your house at the same rate.

You'll save money and energy if you lower the temperature to just where you need it. The room will feel cooler at the same rate regardless of whether you're cooling the room by just 1 degree, or 10.

Myth 5: Air Conditioners are Only Good for Cooling

Modern air conditioners do more than just blow cool air these days. With refrigerants, we now have reverse cycle air conditioners that mean you can have one system for both heating and cooling.

Compared to a portable room heater, your air conditioner will help you to save money come winter time too! Air conditioning is useful all year-round.

Myth 6: Only Replace Your Air Conditioner When the Old One Breaks Down

If your 10+ year old air conditioner is still working reasonably well, you might be tempted to hold out on upgrading until it breaks down completely. This is one of those common air conditioning myths that needs to be laid to rest.

Energy efficiency in ACs has drastically improved in recent years. Upgrading to a new unit with greater energy efficiency will help you save money in the long run, and also help to reduce your carbon footprint!

Myth 7: Air Conditioner Running Costs are All the Same

It's no surprise that installing new air conditioning can be a costly experience. Once installed though, many people still believe in myths that say all air cons have roughly the same running cost.

A 9 kW split system from one brand might have greater or even lower running costs than a 9 kW split system from another brand just because of a different motor or other technologies.

You also need to consider the different types of air conditioning too! A split system that cools one room will cost less to run than a system that cools the whole home. And something that only cools will probably be cheaper to run than a refrigerated unit that can heat too!

With these common myths busted, it's time you take a look at how to best keep your home cool this summer.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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