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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Demystifying the 5 Top Myths About Home Air Conditioning


In the (relatively) short time that ACs have been parts of homes, several myths and misconceptions have risen about them. Some are relatively harmless trivia, but others can have a major impact on comfort and energy use in a home. We want you to know the real deal when it comes to air conditioning in Eden Prairie, MN, and throughout the Twin Cities, so we’ll break down several of the biggest myths about AC systems.

Myth 1: ACs create cooling

The Truth: “Cooling” is not a type of energy. It’s the absence of a type of energy, heat. Your air conditioning system doesn’t generate cooling in the same way that a furnace generates heat. What it does is remove heat from the air in your house to make it cooler and transports that heat outside. This process is called heat transfer, and the basic way an AC operates.

Myth 2: Lowering the thermostat temperature makes the AC cool rooms faster

Truth: This is a misunderstanding of how a thermostat works. A thermostat isn’t a throttle where the more you lower it, the more the AC works to push cool air from the vents. The thermostat is a switch: it tells the air conditioner when to turn on and off. Lowering the thermostat farther will make the AC run for longer, but it won’t cool any faster. This is why it’s better to keep the thermostat at a higher setting and help conserve energy.

Myth 3: Closing vents in unused rooms saves energy

Truth: This doesn’t do any good at all and can actually create problems. A modern central AC distributes air to all the vents, and shutting vents will cause an imbalance in the ventilation system. The pressure will increase inside the HVAC system, putting extra strain on the blower that will waste power and lead to damage such as frozen evaporator coils. If you want to control which rooms receive cooling, ask our team about upgrading your HVAC system with zone controls.

Myth 4: Always get the biggest AC possible

Truth: This is a huge mistake that amateur AC installers often make, and it’s one of the main reasons we recommend only working with experienced and licensed HVAC professionals. If an air conditioner is too powerful for the space it’s meant to cool, it will shut off too soon when it runs and then turn back on again quickly after. This is called short-cycling and it puts immense pressure on the AC which leads to energy waste and a system that runs down rapidly. 

Myth 5: Run the AC all day, even when you aren’t home, to save energy

Truth: This isn’t the energy-saver people claim it is. Supposedly, running it during the day in an empty house saves energy when people come back because the AC doesn’t have as much heat to deal with. This isn’t true! It’s better to use a programmable thermostat and have the setting raised by 10°F when the home is empty. This will make the AC run only enough to keep the house from overheating. The programmable thermostat can then turn the AC back on a half hour before people return so the house is cool for them.

Contact Residential Heating and Air Conditioning today and “Feel the Difference”!

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