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Air Conditioning Myths, Legends, and Truths

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Keeping yourself and your home at a comfortably cool level in hot weather was made much easier with the invention of air conditioning, but that also brought with it rising utility bills. Thus began the battle to keep yourself cool while not using the air conditioner too much. Some have been lucky enough to find that perfect balance, but many others still have to deal with either a hot home or a high bill. A number of tips and strategies claim to help you cool down, but many of these don't work out as well as they claim.

Myth: You Don't Need Air Conditioning If You're Not Home

A common myth is that you don't need to have your air conditioning on when no one is home. This is not true. You might not need the air conditioning to cool yourself personally, but if you leave the air conditioning off all day, and then turn it on when you return to a hot house, that air conditioning will need to work even more to cool down the place. If you really want to be efficient, keep the air conditioning on, but set the thermostat to a warmer temperature, such as in the mid- to upper-80s. That keeps the house at a sort of compromise; the air conditioner won't have to work as hard when you return home and lower the thermostat, but it won't run as much when you're not home.

Legend: The Bowl of Ice in Front of a Fan

Legends always have a seed of truth, even though the whole story told now might not be completely accurate or might be exaggerated. Putting a bowl of ice in front of a fan is one such legend. People try this when they have no air conditioning or can't cool down adequately. The idea is that you place a bowl of ice in front of a fan, and the adjacent air is blown around the room by the fan, cooling at least the immediate area. The truth behind this is that this is a form of evaporative cooling, which is used in some regions when humidity is low.

However, there are a number of issues that make this harder to use. One is that, if the room is very hot, the ice will melt quickly, and the leftover water will warm up quickly, limiting any cooling time. Another problem is that you won't get much cooling unless you sit right by the fan, and even then it will be spot cooling. Evaporative cooling that works on entire rooms requires a full-blown appliance that uses power. A little bowl with a tray's worth of ice cubes will disappear very quickly.

Truth: The Better Maintained the System, the Better the Cooling and Energy Efficiency

The truth that you need to listen to is that your air conditioner will work its best and be at its most efficient when you keep it properly maintained and reduce heat intrusion into your home. Get blackout curtains and draft stoppers, change your filters, and have the system inspected regularly. Eat salads and use microwaves instead of using the oven or stove.

You can get more tips on staying cool from an air conditioning repair company. Call now before the weather gets too hot and the companies become too busy.