Central air conditioning systems are common for modern homes, but knowledge of how they work is quite uncommon. Of course, not everyone can be a trained expert in the refrigeration technology of air conditioning systems, but there are a number of misconceptions about air conditioners that professional AC technicians run into all the time. A bit of knowledge can go a long way in the quest for the best home cooling, so we’ve listed five of the biggest misconceptions people have about home AC systems.
1. Letting the Heat Load Get Too High
It’s a common habit in Southern California to close the windows and doors for more than three to four hours at a time during peak heat periods. However, this results in no home ventilation. While homeowners are out, the indoor home temperature can rise considerably. For example, it can be 95° outside, and by the time you arrive home, the indoor temperature has risen to 88°.
This is an uncomfortable temperature for most families. Turning on the air conditioner is the logical solution, most people set it in between 73° and 75°. Unfortunately, even if the air conditioning never turns off, it may take hours to lower indoor room temperature (as a whole) from 88° to 75°.
When you know you’ll be out of the house during peak heat hours, leave the air conditioner on to a reasonable temperature (78° to 80°). This allows your AC to run at a sustainable level so that you can adjust the thermostat to a comfortable 75 without stressing out your air conditioner.
2. Low Thermostat number Does Not Mean Cooler Air
Central air systems work by cooling air 15° to 20° at a time. For example, if the indoor air temperature is 80°, the AC system takes that supply of air and subtracts 15° to 20° of heat before releasing it back into the home air supply. Because it mixes with the other 80° air that has not been conditioned yet, the air is somewhat cooler, but not necessarily the temperature that was set on your thermostat. It takes time for the indoor air to reach temperature equilibrium.
However, if you believe the mixing of temperature-treated air and the indoor air supply is not the reason for poorly conditioned air there, may be a greater issue. Though the air is still conditioned, it is less efficient, forcing the system to work twice as hard to cool the same amount of air.
If your air is not cooling air in 15° to 20° increments, a maintenance call is required to restore proper function and efficiency levels.
3. Ignores Filter Maintenance
A regularly scheduled maintenance call usually eliminates issues with poor or dirty air filtration. From stuffed filters to debris buildup over the evaporator coils, keeping your central air system clean benefits the system itself and the cleanliness of the air inside of your home.
When air filters are not cleaned or replaced it adds excess strain to the AC. This happens because less air gets through the filter and less air is conditioned. This can also cause the evaporator coils to ice up while the system overheats.
Have your preferred HVAC technician visit to service your AC system. Be sure to replace filters and have the evaporator coils and drip pans cleaned. These areas collect water and are prone to microbiological growth.
4. The Central Air System is not an Open System
Most homeowners tend to think their air conditioning system is an open system. This is not the case. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to refill your refrigerant supply.
When there is a leak in your refrigerant supply, the system is less efficient because it does not have enough cooling power to work with. If your AC system previously cooled indoor air in 20-degree increments, it now may be cooling in 10-degree increments; the air conditioner works harder to treat the same amount of air.
Have your preferred HVAC technician like the Madison AC Repair Company to repair the leak, refill refrigerant, and recalibrate.