Debunking 5 Common Myths and Misconceptions About Air Conditioning

Air conditioners have been around for decades, and most Australian households have one installed. Yet, despite their widespread use, we’ve heard a mix of myths and misconceptions surrounding air conditioning systems that often lead to confusion among consumers. In this blog post, we’re tackling five common misconceptions about air conditioners, so you can enjoy your air con with a lot less guesswork.

1. A bigger and more powerful unit is better

Many people believe that a larger and more powerful air conditioning unit is always better. While it might seem logical that a larger capacity system would cool a room faster, oversized air conditioners can actually be less effective and less efficient than properly sized units, leading to increased energy consumption. An oversized unit may cool the room too quickly, making it hard to regulate the temperature to a comfortable level. Optimal sizing, based on the room’s dimensions, ensures efficient cooling and prevents unnecessary energy wastage. It’s important to consider the specific needs of your space rather than assuming that bigger is always better when it comes to air conditioners. If you’re in the market for a zone ducted air conditioning system, the team here at Ford and Doonan can help you choose the perfect size for your home.

2. Turning your air conditioning on early in the day is less efficient

Try to think of your air conditioner as if it’s trying to ‘maintain’ the temperature, rather than ‘change’ the temperature. What we mean by this is that think of your air conditioner as trying to ‘maintain’ the cool, morning temperature rather than ‘change’ the hot afternoon temperature into cooler temperatures. When you think of it maintaining temperature rather than changing it, this will allow your air conditioner to work much easier throughout the day rather than ramping up to full capacity in the late afternoon and evening.

Yes, it may seem contrary that running the air conditioner for the whole day is more efficient when compared to a short period of time, but think of it like a hill. It is easier to pedal your bike up a hill with less incline, but longer in duration than it is to pedal a bike up a short, near vertical hill. When you come home from work at 5:30pm on a 36°C day and switch the air conditioner onto cooling and 20°C, your system is facing a mammoth vertical mountain to climb as it works to change the temperature from 32°C to somewhere near 20°C.

3. Air conditioners are expensive to operate

There’s a common misconception that using air conditioners are prohibitively expensive. Air conditioners do use electricity, but not significantly more than other household appliances. Modern air conditioners are designed to be energy efficient, and some can use 30% to 50% less energy than older models. The cost of running an air conditioner depends on its efficiency, the size of the space, and the cost of electricity. While it’s true that inefficient use can lead to high energy bills, employing smart practices can significantly reduce costs. Regular maintenance, optimal controller settings, and keeping the sun out of your home on a hot day contribute to energy efficiency, translating to lower operating costs.

4. Air conditioners don’t need maintenance

Many people believe that air conditioning systems do not need regular maintenance and that they can be left to run indefinitely without any problems, however, this is not the case. Much like a car, air conditioners require regular servicing to perform at their best! This crucial step helps extend the lifespan and efficiency of your system, and can also be a requirement to maintain the warranty of your air conditioner from certain manufacturers. A thorough check by a technician can spot any leaks and issues with the coils or fins well before they become big problems. Here at Ford & Doonan, we highly recommend that you service your air conditioning unit at least once a year. This is our recommendation because it ensures that you have your air-con running at the highest efficiency, no matter the season.

Neglecting air conditioning maintenance can lead to several problems, including reduced efficiency, increased energy consumption, and even breakdowns. Regular maintenance not only improves the efficiency of your system but also extends its lifespan, saving you money on repairs and replacements in the long run.

5. Lowering the Controller Temperature Cools the Room Faster

A widely believed misconception is that lowering the temperature on the controller will expedite the cooling process. In reality, air conditioners operate at a consistent rate, and adjusting the controller to an extremely low temperature doesn’t make the room cool faster. It only prolongs the operating time and results in higher energy consumption. Instead, we recommend setting the controller to a comfortable temperature between 22°C to 24°C on a high fan speed. Additionally, investing in a programmable controller can be particularly beneficial, allowing you to schedule temperature adjustments based on your daily routine for optimal comfort and energy savings.

A benefit of most modern air conditioning controllers is that you can download an app for your mobile phone and remotely control your air conditioner. This allows you to turn on/off the air conditioner, along with switching the fan speed too as shown below on the AirTouch 5. Perfect for improving efficiency and creating the ideal comfort.

In conclusion

By debunking these common myths, we aim to foster a better understanding of air conditioners and promote informed decision making. Efficient use, regular maintenance, and embracing technological advancements can not only debunk these misconceptions but also ensure a more cost effective, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly cooling experience. It’s time to enjoy the comfort of air conditioning without the unnecessary baggage of myths and misconceptions, paving the way for a more sustainable and enjoyable indoor climate!