2023’s Ultimate List of Air Conditioning Myths

air conditioning myths

The Ultimate List of Air Conditioning Myths

Homeowners may believe in AC myths and misconceptions for various reasons.

Some people may have heard these myths from friends or family members and may not have taken the time to research the facts.

Others may have learned these myths from outdated or incorrect information sources, such as old books or websites.

Some people may believe in AC myths because they want to save money on their energy bills and they think that following them will help them.

Sometimes, homeowners may believe these myths because they are looking for simple, easy-to-follow advice and may not realize that the information they are following is inaccurate.

Here are the top common air conditioner myths and the truth behind them:

Myth 1: You Should Keep Your Thermostat at a Consistent Temperature To Save Energy.


Fact: It is more efficient to set your thermostat at a higher temperature when you’re not home and lower it just before you return home.

This allows the AC to run less frequently, saving you energy and money.

It’s also a good idea to set the thermostat at a higher temperature when sleeping if possible, but if you are like me, you prefer a cold room.

You should also set it at a higher temperature if your house is unoccupied for extended periods.

This can help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Installing a programmable thermostat can eliminate the guesswork of keeping your home cool while still reducing your air conditioner’s energy consumption.

Myth 2: Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Will Save Energy.

Floor Vent

Fact: Closing vents can actually cause your air conditioner to work harder and use more energy.

This is because it can create imbalances in the air pressure within your home, making it more difficult for the air conditioner to circulate air.

Instead of closing vents in unused rooms, it’s better to adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature or turn the air conditioner off altogether when the rooms are not in use.

This will allow the air conditioner to run less frequently and save energy.

Myth 3: The Higher the BTU Rating, The Better The AC.

oversized air conditioner

Fact: British Thermal Units, or BTUs, measure the air conditioner’s cooling capacity, but it’s not the only factor to consider when choosing an air conditioner.

The size and layout of your home, the climate you live in, and other factors can also affect your air conditioner’s performance.

Choosing an air conditioner that is properly sized for your home and has the right cooling capacity for your needs is important.

If your air conditioner is too small, it won’t be able to cool your home down effectively.

If it’s too large, it will cool the air in your home too quickly and constantly shut off (also called short cycling) before removing enough moisture from the air, which leads to excessive humidity.

A professional HVAC contractor can help you determine the right size and BTU rating suitable for your home.

Myth 4: Your AC is Only Cooling the Air.

indoor hygrometer

Fact: Having a cool home interior is obviously a huge benefit of air conditioning and is one of the main reasons it’s installed, but it’s not the only thing it does.

Based on its thermodynamic design, your air conditioning removes humidity from the air during the heat transfer process, specifically your evaporator coil.

Lower humidity makes for a cool and comfortable home.

Myth 5: Ceiling Fans Can Replace Air Conditioning.

ceiling fan

Fact: While ceiling fans can help to circulate air and make a room feel cooler, they are no substitute for proper air conditioning.

A fan can make it feel like it has lowered the air temperature through the wind chill effect.

Ceiling fans only redistribute air and do not cool it.

Air conditioning is still the only effective way to cool a room and is necessary for maintaining comfortable temperatures during a hot summer.

Fans can be used in conjunction with air conditioning to help distribute the conditioned air and improve air circulation, but they should not be relied on as the sole cooling source.

Myth 6: Air Conditioners Should Be Placed In Direct Sunlight to Work Better.

Best Location for AC Outdoor Unit

Fact: Air conditioning units should actually be placed in a shady spot around your home to work more efficiently.

This is because direct sunlight can cause your AC to work harder and use more energy to cool down the refrigerant contained in the system.

When placing your outdoor air conditioning unit, also called the condensing coil, it’s best to choose a location that is protected from sunlight, such as the north side of your home or under a porch or overhang.

As long as there is plenty of space for airflow.

This will help keep the condensing unit cool and reduce the work it must do to cool the refrigerant.

Myth 7: Your Thermostat Can Be Mounted Anywhere In Your Home.

Smart thermostat

FACT: The location of your mounted thermostat can affect its accuracy and performance at measuring the desired temperature.

It’s important to choose a thermostat location that is free from direct sunlight, drafts, and other heat or cold sources.

The thermostat should also be placed where it can accurately measure the air temperature in rooms you frequent the most.

These can be on an interior wall in main living areas or kitchens.

Placing your thermostat near doors, windows, or other heat or cold sources can cause your thermostat to give inaccurate readings and cause your heating and cooling system to work less efficiently.

Myth 8: You Should Leave Your Air Conditioner On All The Time.

choosing the right ac

Fact: It’s more energy-efficient to set your thermostat temperature higher when you’re out and lower the temperature when you’re home.

This allows your air conditioner to run less frequently, saving you money on your energy bill.

It’s also a good idea to turn your air conditioner off when your house is unoccupied for extended periods, such as when you’re on vacation.

Myth 9: AC Units Should Only Be Serviced When They Break Down.

Ductless AC Installation

Fact: Regular maintenance ensures that your air conditioner is operating at peak efficiency and prolongs its lifespan.

Scheduling annual tune-ups and cleaning your HVAC equipment can help to prevent breakdowns and save you money on costly repairs.

During a tune-up, an HVAC professional will inspect your air conditioner and perform any necessary maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the unit, checking the refrigerant levels, and tightening any loose connections.

This can help to ensure that your air conditioner is operating at its best and can save you money on energy bills and repair costs.

Myth 10: It’s Not Necessary to Change Air Filters Regularly.

Woman holding pleated air filter

Fact: Dirty air filters restrict airflow within your air conditioning system, making it work harder, leading to reduced performance and those dreaded higher energy bills.

It’s important that you change your air filter every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter and the manufacturer’s specifications of both the filter and your AC unit.

The conditions in your home will also dictate how often you should replace a filter.

By regularly changing your air filters, you can help ensure that your AC is operating at peak efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and save money on energy bills.

Myth 11: Air Conditioning Can Make You Sick

girl sneezing

Fact: Your air conditioner does not have the ability to give you a cold or any other viral illness.

The cold air that’s produced and distributed by your AC unit will make you feel colder, but it won’t lower your body’s resistance to viruses or other pathogens that make you sick.

Colds and other illnesses are spread through contact with infected people or objects.

The cool air produced by an AC cannot replicate this.

Your air conditioning can actually have the opposite effect.

When your AC is cooling and fitted with a clean and appropriately rated air filter, it helps filter airborne contaminants like dust and bacteria that can make you sick.

Final Thoughts on Air Conditioning Myths

Phyxter Approved Logo on Service Truck

AC myths can be deceiving and can lead homeowners to make poor decisions that affect the comfort of their homes.

Many AC myths are based on outdated or incorrect information, and following such myths can lead to inefficient AC operation, which will ultimately translate to higher energy bills.

By understanding the truth behind these myths and making informed decisions about your AC, you can save energy, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money on your energy bills.

“Hey, homeowners! Want to learn how to keep your home cozy all year? Check out our super helpful HVAC articles!”

Russell Jones

Russell, a native Australian and VP of Operations at Phyxter Home Services, is also part-owner of Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical Services. When he's not busy with work projects and renovations, Russell enjoys putting his vast knowledge of home improvement to good use by sharing his tips and tricks.

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Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

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