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caring for your air conditioning equipment

Is your air conditioning system ready for the upcoming summer? Have you done all that is necessary to prevent damage during the winter? Do you know what you have to do before you turn the air conditioning on for the first time this year? You can learn all of this and so much more by visiting my site. The tips, advice and information you find on my site will be valuable in many ways. You can learn a few things to do on your own to save a little money on your yearly use and maintenance of your air conditioning equipment.


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caring for your air conditioning equipment

Believing These 3 Myths About Air Conditioners Can Cost You Money

by Amy Henry

You rely on your air conditioning unit to keep your home at a comfortable temperature on hot summer days, but how much do you know about how it works? What you don't know may be costing you money by increasing your monthly energy bills or causing hidden damage to your air conditioner. To help you understand more about your air conditioning system, here are three common myths about air conditioners that lead to damage and energy inefficiency:

1. Bigger Is Better When It Comes to Air Conditioners

You may think that a big, powerful air conditioning unit capable of rapidly cooling your home will help you save on energy costs. After all, it turns on to quickly cool your home to a comfortable temperature and then switches off – being off most of the time will help you save on energy costs, right?

Unfortunately, this is a common myth that homeowners believe. Air conditioners use the most energy when the compressor first starts up; cycling on and off throughout the day wastes energy and stains your air conditioner. For maximum efficiency, you want your air conditioner to run continuously throughout the day without periodically switching off. In addition to saving energy, a continually-running air conditioner also does a better job of dehumidifying your home and making it more comfortable.

2. Setting the Thermostat Too Low Causes Your Air Conditioner to Freeze Over

If your air conditioner is freezing over, it has nothing to do with the temperature of your thermostat. The vast majority of compressor motors only operate at one speed – the air conditioner simply turns on and cools at a constant rate until your home reaches the desired temperature, then it turns off. Setting your thermostat lower doesn't cause your air conditioner to cool your home faster or cause your unit to freeze over because it was cooling your home too rapidly.

What does cause your unit to freeze over, however, is a refrigerant leak in the compressor system or dust on the evaporator coils. When there's not enough refrigerant in the system, it leads to low pressure in the evaporator coils. Refrigerant cools the surrounding air when it expands in volume – when it's at a low pressure, it expands and cools the evaporator coils too quickly. Dust buildup on the evaporator coils insulates them and prevents them from cooling the surrounding air, eventually causing them to become too cold and ice over. If your unit is freezing over, you'll need to call a professional to check your refrigerant level and service your unit.

3. Refrigerant Needs to Be Topped Up or Replaced Periodically

You have to top up your gas tank and change the oil in your car every once in a while, so why wouldn't air conditioners work the same way? Actually, the refrigerant in air conditioners never needs to be filled up or replaced in normal circumstances – the compressor system is a closed loop that never uses up its refrigerant, and the refrigerant doesn't degrade over time. In other words, a low refrigerant level means that there's a leak somewhere in the system that needs to be fixed. When you call a professional to have your air conditioner serviced, they'll check your refrigerant level to see if there are any leaks in the system and then plug them. Having a low refrigerant level causes your evaporator coils to ice over and will eventually damage your compressor motor when the pressure in the system falls too low.

Now that you know a little more about your air conditioning system, you're better equipped to maintain it and recognize when something is wrong. It's important to hire an air conditioning service company to inspect and clean your unit at least once a year – some problems, like a low refrigerant level or debris in the compressor unit, can go unnoticed until they cause major damage. Have a professional maintain your unit to ensure that it keeps your home comfortably cool.