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Actually, These Air Conditioning ‘Hacks’ Won’t Save You Money

We get it: cooling your home is expensive. Unfortunately, some of the things homeowners do in the name of cost savings end up doing more harm than good. Here are three air conditioning myths that are compromising your comfort and your wallet:

Myth: Closing the Vents to Unoccupied Rooms Saves Money

Your central air system is designed to distribute air evenly throughout your home. No matter how many vents you close, it will still produce the same volume of air. At best, closing vents only redirects the air elsewhere. However, it’s more likely that closed vents will increase pressure within the system, leading to wear and tear.

If you really want to cool spaces separately, you’ll need to invest in a zoned HVAC system.

Myth: You Should Turn Off Your AC While You’re Not Home

Say you turn off the AC while you’re away at work. That’s at least eight hours your central air conditioner isn’t driving up energy costs, right? The problem with this approach is that your home will be hot and stuffy by the time you arrive. Your AC will have to work all the harder to overcome that temperature differential. It will take a while for the temperature to reach the setpoint on your thermostat. Meanwhile, you’ll be uncomfortable.

Do this instead: before leaving for the day, adjust the thermostat about 10 degrees higher than your typical setting. For example, if you’re comfortable at 72 degrees, bump it up to 82 degrees while you’re away. This reduces stress on your HVAC and keeps mold and bugs at bay -- two things that thrive in hot, humid environments.

For more convenient climate control, upgrade to a smart thermostat.

Myth: Your AC System Doesn’t Need a Tune-Up Every Year

A poorly maintained AC unit uses 10 to 30 percent more energy, so skipping your annual tune-up doesn’t save you any money in the long run. Maintenance is necessary to prevent breakdowns and keep your central air conditioner operating at peak efficiency.

Bottom line: By better understanding how your central air conditioning system operates, you’ll improve your comfort and lower your energy costs. For all of your cooling needs this summer, contact AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric at (303) 622-3449.

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