It’s officially the first month of summer in Tampa Bay, and you’re likely using your air conditioning (AC) now more than ever.
As the warm Florida temperatures continue to climb, we want to help you cool off from the heat – especially during the months of July and August in Clearwater, with temperatures averaging 90°F during the day1.
Here, we’ll break down eight misconceptions we commonly hear from our Air Care customers, helping you stay comfortable and save money this summer and throughout the year.
Myth #1: Set your thermostat as low as possible, and the AC will cool your home faster.
False. Regardless of the temperature you set your thermostat, your AC unit will work just as hard to cool your home. So, whether you drop the temperature one degree or 10, it will take the same amount of time to reach your desired setting.
Myth #2: Turn your AC unit off when you leave.
Every time you turn off your AC, it has to work even harder to cool your home once it’s turned back on.
Instead, set your thermostat to the highest temperature you’re comfortable with. Even during the warm Florida months, Duke Energy recommends 78 degrees when you’re at home and 80 degrees while you are away to save on your energy bill each month2.
Programmable thermostats make it easy to control the temperature of your home when you leave for the day or on vacation, and smart thermostats can even detect when you’re away and self-set the temperature for you. Learn more about our Air Care thermostat recommendations here.
Myth #3: The bigger AC unit, the better.
The size of your AC unit does not indicate it’s “better.” Larger units may run for shorter periods of time, but the starting and stopping of the system – known as “short cycling” – can cause your AC more stress, use more electricity and reduce the system’s lifespan, resulting in a higher energy costs monthly and over time.
Instead, select a unit that best fits your home. Many variables play into the type of AC system your home needs, from total square footage and floor plan to ductwork, air vents, and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings.
To uncover the right AC unit, work with our professionals at Air Care to assess your home needs and recommend the best system to control the temperature and humidity in your home.
Myth #4: Close your AC vents in unused rooms.
Whether your air vents are open or closed, your AC unit is designed to blow out the same amount of air.
When you close vents in unused rooms, you’re actually putting more pressure on your system. This can release conditioned air into parts of your home that don’t need it and cause larger pockets of humidity, which can affect your health and even damage your furniture.
Myth #5: Turn all your fans on to cool down your home.
Ceiling and oscillating fans are designed to circulate air that’s already in a room. They can create air movement and help you feel more comfortable, but your AC must be blowing out cold air first.
Only run your fans when you’re actually in the room. When you turn on all of your fans or leave them running when you’re not home, it’s really just a waste of electricity.
Some homes have a “whole-house fan,” a large ventilating fan that’s usually mounted in a ceiling between a living space and attic. It constantly draws air out of your living space to the attic, then traveling outside through the attic vents2. It’s usually a good option for cooling your home, so ask our HVAC technicians to inspect or make a recommendation on their next visit.
Myth #6: Change your air filters every three months.
As a rule of thumb, you should check your AC filter every 30 days3 – even if it doesn’t need to be replaced.
Air filters trap dust, dirt and debris from getting into your system, and should be cleaned or replaced regularly to prevent clogging in your system. Changing out your air filters regularly makes your system run more efficiently.
How often you change out your air filter depends on a variety of factors, including the type of AC system, air filter and home size, as well as if you live in a polluted city, with pets, or have allergies or medical conditions. Florida and Pinellas County generally score high on “good” air quality, according to the Air Quality Index (AQI), a nationwide standard method developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
You may need to change your filter out more frequently if you have3:
- Respiratory conditions, asthma or allergies (common in Florida)
- A larger or multi-level home, which requires more air circulation
- Household pets that track in dirt from outside and shed fur/feathers
At each service tune-up, we’ll check your filters, hardware and health of your system. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
Myth #7: Your warranty covers all AC replacement and repairs.
In most cases, a standard manufacturer’s warranty only covers defects in the materials and mistakes on the assembly line.
For example, we recommend Rheem® heating and cooling equipment, with a warranty that states:
RHEEM SALES COMPANY, INC. warrants the Covered Equipment to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, and will repair or replace, at its option, ANY PART of Covered Equipment installed in residential (not commercial) applications which fail in normal use and service within the Applicable Warranty Periods.
It’s important to note that all brand warranties do not cover things like poor installation, maintenance and add-on parts, so it’s important to work with an experienced HVAC company like Air Care for all of your AC system maintenance, repair and replacement needs.
Myth #8: My AC system is running fine, so I’ll wait to call an HVAC technician.
Did you know that most AC calls can be prevented with a bi-annual service tune-up?
Regular AC maintenance extends the life of your system, which can save you money and stress over the life of your AC equipment.
If you haven’t had an HVAC company or technician out recently, call our licensed Air Care professionals to inspect your system.
Looking for a professional HVAC company?
Turn to your Clearwater air and heating experts at Air Care for all of your cooling and heating needs. We’ll help you debunk any myths not included here and help you understand your AC system repair, maintenance and replacement needs.
“I just have to say that Air Care’s AC repair service is very good! Obviously living in Clearwater has some downsides, especially during the summer when your air conditioner breaks down because it is working too hard. When that happens, and when it happened to me, it is good to have someone on hand who can repair it immediately, like I do now. They were quick, efficient and affordable: I couldn’t ask for any better service. Excellent!” – Holly E.