Fact or Fiction – Debunking Common Air Conditioning Myths
As with almost all my blog posts, today’s topic is based on things that happen in the field and come from client interactions. Today’s topic is debunking some of the popular misconceptions the general public holds when it comes to air conditioning.
“I’ll get a better price on my air conditioner if I buy it off season.”
I hear this one all the time and it is flat out false. If you will please think about this, our overhead, labor and equipment costs remain the same no matter the date on the calendar. Equipment costs increase every January between three and five percent, so the reality is you might pay more for the new system if you wait until winter rolls around. Yes, we are not as busy in January as we are in July, and all that means is that we can often times get your installation completed for you in a more timely fashion without you waiting a day or three.
Bigger is Better
“My house doesn’t cool the way I want it to, I need a bigger air conditioner.”
Once again, wrong but thank you for playing. When a home or business is first constructed, load calculations are run to determine the proper sizing for the air conditioning system. The only way you are going to need a larger air conditioner is if additional square feet have been added to the building. Cooling issues in a structure are often caused by ductwork issues, lack of return air or proper levels of attic insulation. An over-sized AC system can do more harm than good, as it will cause humidity issues in the building due to not running long enough to properly dehumidify the space.
Air Conditioners Don’t Require Maintenance
“I change my filter every month isn’t that enough?”
As with any machine, air conditioning systems need regular maintenance performed by a certified professional on an annual basis. Electronics need to be checked, Freon pressures confirmed, coils need to be cleaned, along with blower motors and drain lines that need to be chemically treated to help prevent backups. Sure, you can take a set it and forget attitude when it comes to your air conditioner if you so desire, but that will lead to the need to replace your unit sooner and huge losses in efficiency, which in turn will raise your utility costs.
Ductwork Doesn’t Matter
“My ducts have been just fine for thirty years, why do I have to worry about them now?”
Air conditioning as a science is relatively new in terms of technology. The first air conditioner came on the scene around 1902. That means the science is just over one hundred years old and we really didn’t start air conditioning our homes until the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. In the category of stating the obvious, what we know now vs. what we knew thirty years ago is drastically different. I’m sure what we will learn over the next thirty years will make what we practice today look antiquated as well. That said, duct systems are often undersized, so you don’t get proper air flow, and many times after a new system is installed using old duct work, condensation becomes a problem.
I’m sure that I haven’t covered all the possibilities when it comes to misinformation out there regarding air conditioners and home heating/cooling systems, however, these are in my top four. Bottom line, if you need a new air conditioner for your home or business, turn to a professional that spends their life in the industry. Don’t ask your Aunt Sally the beautician or Uncle Joe the chef what to do, you are probably not going to get the best advice.
Once again, in the category of things that keep me awake at night, why is it that if you write a check that bounces the bank charges you more of what they know you don’t have any of?
House Whisperer out!!