As temperatures around the Kansas City area heat up and utility bills roll in, homeowners continue to look for ways to reduce consumption and spending, while still keeping cool. Here are some energy-saving myths you’ll want to avoid, along with some advice on what really works.
Myth: Cranking down the thermostat will cool your home faster.
Fact: Unless your A/C has a variable speed air handler, it’s either on or off, and only operates at one set speed. Lowering the dial below your desired set point will make no difference in how quickly the temperature drops, and you’ll be wasting additional energy as temperatures dip lower than necessary.
Myth: Use ceiling fans to keep your home cool even if you’re not home or using rooms where the fans are operating.
Fact: Fans cool people, rather than rooms, through the wind-chill effect – the result of a higher rate of evaporation of perspiration on the skin that makes the air feel between three or four degrees cooler. This allows you to raise the thermostat by several degrees without sacrificing comfort. Make sure you turn the fan off when you leave the room.
Myth: Turn off the A/C while you’re out to save energy.
Fact: This one depends on how hot it is outside. During mild weather, this isn’t a bad strategy, though during mild weather your A/C probably wouldn’t kick on that much anyway. However, during hot weather, over the course of the day your home’s interior temperature can rise significantly, placing a heavy burden on your A/C when you turn it back on. The lack of air circulation also can increase indoor humidity. Instead, set your programmable thermostat seven to 10 degrees higher than usual while you’re gone, and program it to return to your comfort zone before you’re due to arrive home.
Myth: A/C is the only way to keep cool.
Fact: Other solutions include strategic shady landscaping, increased insulation levels, and keeping window coverings closed during peak sunlight hours. When nights and mornings are cool, open up your house to take advantage of the natural coolness outside. Just close up the house before it starts getting hot outside.
For more help sorting out energy-saving myths or for any other HVAC concerns, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling, serving homeowners in the Greater Kansas City area since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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